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INDEX 490 


From a drawing by Slater, 1831 



Zachary Macaulay, the third son of the Rev. John Macaulay 
and of his second wife, Margaret Campbell of Inverseger, was 
born at the manse of Inverary on the 2nd of May 1768. 

The clan MacAulay had long inhabited the western Highlands, 
and appears to have been considered a branch of the MacGregors. 
In a bond or deed of friendship^ between their chief, Aulay 
MacAulay of Ardincaple, and the chief of the MacGregors, 
which was executed in 1591, MacAulay acknowledges to being 
a cadet of the clan MacGregor, and agrees to pay a tribute of 
cattle to his chief. But when the MacGregors fell under the 
ban of the law, Aulay MacAulay did not scruple to turn against 
them, and did his best to avert any suspicion of complicity in 
their rebellion from himself and his followers, by the hostility 
with which he pursued his former allies. The successors of this 
politic chieftain did not possess sufficient prudence to retain a 
grasp upon the property which his shrewdness had preserved 
for them. They gradually dissipated the family possessions by 
carelessness and extravagance, until the last chief, another Aulay 
MacAulay, overwhelmed with debt, was reduced to sell Ardin- 
caple and the scanty remains of his patrimony to John, the 
fourth Duke of Argyll, in 1764. 

Some of the Macaulays had settled in the south-west part of 
the island of Lewis, and in the reign of James vi. of Scotland 
one of them was distinguished by the name of Donald Cam, to 
signify that he was blind of one eye. It may be mentioned that 
this defect was inherited by his great-great-grandson, Zachary 
Macaulay, and that it was a family tradition among Macaulay's 
children that their father did not discover the fact that he 

^ In this deed the two contracting parties describe themselves as originally descended 
from the same stock — ' M'Alpins 01 auld.' 

_ ^ ::^ - - -:. :t- 

v.n-*/^ -ii^ •; 1^3?: » :!li vift *r» r=L 

< '^ ■<; vc n "i-r/t I^:.t . iisr t-^tr: — ^^■^- — t?--.^.x J - ^^ • — ^ 
i^;';;..v^-^-^ "^.ir i,:r le usee rrrrr-r- i ^ — s-^ "^ :=fficaciis 

'"^ Jsu'Jt^; '^^ . v,?*r:* •»-:. iar-**: i-:ii.':r:r ^^^t.— -■^t- h hoe .^rM ■" i 
*>f • ''^f Vii'Vt ^ :.: I t.-iit ^ "Tie is^rs am: TTsrmT^ if lie 

Uv^- */, »ii vrt i.1 n:i:jvr.arj ti 5- ^"^. -^-^ 27 

7/A/'t/Aty, w^\ 'X/ru at Hanij i:: 1731^ At the tiac cc Eh*. 
j^A,r.v/f/t V/.r t/> the IWvridts in 1773 Tiha Macanlay was 
i/lUkh^^ fA U,'i*Tr%ry^ \rxX the folls-aing year he was arposnted 
iff < /Af'\v/^^\ in J>urr*?/airt/>n%hirc, and remoTed there when his 
v/fi V/^,U'av/ wz% atx/ut %ix years oI± Jcha Macaulays first 
wife itk/l fii^'A a yiar afVrr her marriage, leaving one child ; but 
f^ hi* *^^//fi/l %\in, Marj/aret Campbell, he had at the time of 
hi% rnmo7n\ a larj^c (nm'uy, which in the end numbered twelve 
fiiiUU^Jt. With »uch rapidly increasing demands upon a small 
l«/y/f ri*:, it wa« fMr^^r^^ary that each son should in turn, as soon 
iif» h^ aH;iif»#:d a suitable age, be put in the way of maintaining 
hiirivl/, and whnn only fourteen Zachary was placed in a 
fnnfhiiuV^ office at Glasgow. 


The history of his early years will be best related by himself 
in a short autobiographical memoir which he wrote at Sierra 
Leone in 1797. 

* I can scarce ever think on my past life without adverting 
to those words of John Newton's : 

* " Thou didst once a wretch behold 
In rebellion blindly bold 
Scorn Thy grace, Thy power defy 
That poor rebel, Lord, was I." 

* I am indeed a signal monument of God's long-suffering and 
tender mercy. What shall I render to Him for all His benefits ? 

* Soon after I reached the age of fourteen, I became in a great 
measure my own master, by being removed from the control of 
my father and mother, and placed in a merchant's counting- 
house in Glasgow. This was a line of life which I entered upon 
with great regret, for I had at that time a strong passion for 
literature ; but I acquiesced readily in my father's determina- 
tion, from perceiving that his stipend could not well afford the 
expense of a literary education. 

* I felt the disappointment, however, very acutely, and thought 
I lost by this arrangement all my past labour to which I had 
been greatly stimulated by the hope of academical honours. I 
had already acquired a pretty general knowledge of the Latin 
language, and had also such a tincture of Grecian learning as 
enabled me to read Homer without much difficulty. I read 
French with tolerable ease, and had besides made considerable 
progress in mathematics. What made me prize all this the 
more was that it had been acquired mainly by my own exer- 
tions, for I had the misfortune never to have been under any 
regular system of tuition. It was only at times that I had any 
other instructor besides my father, and his avocations were so 
numerous as to render it altogether impossible for him to pay 
me the requisite attention. Being the oldest son at home, the 
care of instructing the others devolved on me ; and though by 
this circumstance I was a good deal aided in my learning, yet I 
think I can trace to it the rise of several tempers which have 
caused me no small trouble in after life, particularly my im- 
patience and self-confidence, my imposing tone, and dogmatical, 
magisterial style as well in writing as speaking. 

*But my reading was by no means confined to the dead 
languages. My father had a large collection of books, and my 
appetite for them was quite insatiable. There were few of the 
English classics which I had not read. The great poets were 
quite familiar to me. I was, besides, an eager hunter after that 


sort of anecdote wherewith ephemeral publications abound. 
What stimulated me to this, in addition to the pleasure they 
afforded myself, was, I remember, an eager desire of shining in 
conversation. I much affected the company of men ; and having 
a good memory, though very little judgment, and a great share 
of conceit and assumption, I was in the habit of obtruding my 
remarks whatever the subject of conversation was. I was much 
encouraged to this by the notice and ill-timed commendation 
which was occasionally bestowed upon me when I ought rather 
to have been repressed. It seems unnatural that the bent of 
my inclinations should have lain in this direction at so early an 
age, but it arose in a great measure from the necessity imposed 
upon me to seek amusement in some other way than boys 
generally do, by a serious accident that happened to my right 
arm when I was nine years old. It subjected me to several 
. painful operations, and it was about five years before I recovered 
the proper use of it. 

' I had at this time some religious impressions on my mind, 
the effect of education. I liked to hear sermons, I thought it 
wrong not to say my prayers, and I felt a salutary check of 
conscience when I perceived myself flying directly in the face 
of a divine mandate. Happy for me if I had never lost this 
feeling, but happier still if my conscience were now restored to 
its office of serving the living God, and acted faithfully as his 

* I remained in Glasgow upwards of two years ; and during 
those two years I improved indeed in the knowledge of useful 
learning, but I made much more rapid progress in the knowledge 
of evil. The people with whom I chiefly associated were of 
two classes. Those whose society I most eagerly coveted were 
students in the University, and many of those who stood high 
in point of talents flattered me with their particular regard. I 
was admitted to all their convivial meetings, and made one of 
their society on all occasions. 

* As they were much more advanced in years than I was, I 
naturally looked up to them for information ; and as many of 
them were really men of wit and taste, I gladly received the 
law from their mouths. But some of them, who, with I am 
sorry to say sentiments little altered, are at this day invested 
with the sacred names of ambassadors for God, made a cruel 
use of their influence. They employed it in eradicating from 
my mind every trace of religious belief I recoiled at first with 
a kind of horror from the propositions they advanced with 
respect to the Bible and the existence of a God. But my 
scruples soon yielded to the united efforts of arguments whose 
fallacy I was unable to detect, of wit whose brilliancy dazzled 


me, and of sharp and pointed raillery which sei'ved to 
silence me, 

* Nor were temptations wanting, for the other class of persons 
with whom I associated were as profligate in their practice 
as the students were in their principles. My immediate 
superiors in the counting-house were of this class, as well as 
many others in the mercantile line of life with whom I neces- 
sarily became acquainted. Taught by them, I began to think 
excess in wine, so far from being a sin, to be a ground for 
glorying ; and it became one of the objects of my ambition to 
be able to see all my companions under the table. And this 
was the more surprising as I really disliked, nay even loathed, 
excessive drinking. 

* This same principle of ambition, however, operated in some 
respects as a check upon me, for I had access, through intro- 
ductions from my father, to many respectable families in the 
town whose civilities I was anxious not to forfeit. I was there- 
fore careful in preserving at least appearances, and also in 
avoiding that notoriety which would have exposed me to my 
father's displeasure. The domestic society which I thus enjoyed 
was not of a nature to counteract in any considerable degree 
the pernicious effects of the above-mentioned associations. 
Being tolerably accommodating, I fell into the predilections of 
the ladies of the family, which were entirely for new plays and 
marble-covered books. When I was not draining the midnight 
bowl, I was employed in wasting the midnight oil by poring 
over such abominable, but fascinating works as are to be found 
under the head of novels in the catalogue of every circulating 

* There are some few, however, of the immensity of books of 
this nature which I perused at that period of my life that still 
afford me pleasure when I recollect them. The characteristic 
conversations of Miss Burney's Evelina and Cecilia^ the humour 
of Smollett, and the native manners-painting style of Fielding 
have still their charm for me. 

•To my other defects I now accordingly added something of 
the romantic and extravagant. I was continually laying the 
plan of wonderful adventures, conning speeches to repeat to 
ladies delivered from the hands of robbers and assassins, or 
adjusting the particulars of some affair of honour. With all 
this, however, I was exceedingly attentive to business ; and my 
employers, when I left them, presented me with a considerable 
gratuity to mark their approbation of my conduct. 

'Towards the end of the year 1784 a circumstance happened 
which gave a temporary suspension to my career, and led to a 
few sober reflections. I then saw that the only way that 


remained to extricate myself from the labyrinth in which I was 
involved was going abroad. I made known my wish to my 
father, and it was determined that I should try my fortunes in 
the East Indies. 

* Just as this determination had been taken, Sir Archibald 
Campbell, who was related to us, persuaded my father to alter 
it, and to suffer me to go out under his patronage to Jamaica, 
where he had been Governor, and where his influence was of 
course supposed able to effect any views of aggrandisement, 
however large, which I might form. What reason Sir Archi- 
bald could have had for persuading us to this step I have 
never been able to fathom, for the letters of recommendation 
he gave me were so far from yielding me any essential service, 
that not one of them even procured me an ordinary invitation. 

* During the voyage to Jamaica I had a good deal of time for 
reflection, and I endeavoured to fortify myself, by previous 
resolutions, against the evils to which I felt myself prone. 
Company I had found my greatest snare, and I resolved to 
guard against it; and though every reformation proceeding 
on such grounds as mine then did must be partial and inade- 
quate, yet one good effect arising from it was a resolution 
of abstaining from all excess in drinking, which I afterwards 
adhered to. 

* At this time I had not yet reached the age of seventeen, and 
found myself, on landing at Jamaica, without money, or without 
a single friend to whom I could turn for assistance. The letters 
of recommendation to persons in high position, with which I 
had been provided by Sir Archibald Campbell, were entirely 
neglected. The visions which had been presented to me of 
rapidly increasing wealth and honours now vanished entirely, 
but the disappointment did not seriously affect my spirits. I 
felt certainly indignation and resentment at the coldness and 
indifference shown me by men, from whom I thought I had a 
right to expect different treatment. But I recollect feeling a 
degree of self-complacency in finding myself able to reconcile 
my mind to very considerable hardships, rather than submit to 
repeat the humiliating applications which I had already made 
to those persons. 

* My trials, however, were not of long duration. One or two 
private gentlemen to whom a friend of mine had written to 
introduce me, soon found me out, and showed me great kind- 
ness. Through their exertions I obtained the situation of 
under-manager or book-keeper on a sugar plantation. 

* Here I entered upon a new mode of life which waged war 
with all my tastes and feelings. My position was laborious, 
irksome, and degrading, to a degree of which I could have 


formed no previous conception, and which none can imagine 
fully who have not, like me, experienced the vexatious, cap- 
ricious, tyrannical, and pitiless conduct of a Jamaica overseer. 
To this, however, I made it a point of honour to reconcile my 
mind. Indeed I saw there was no medium for me, under the 
circumstances, between doing so and starving. 

* While my health remained good, I therefore submitted with 
cheerfulness to all the severe toil and painful watchings which 
were required of me. What chiefly affected me at first was, 
that by my situation I was exposed not only to the sight, but 
also to the practice of severities over others, the very recollec- 
tion of which makes my blood run cold. My mind was at first 
feelingly alive to the miseries of the poor slaves, and I not only 
revolted from the thought of myself inflicting punishment upon 
them, but the very sight of punishment sickened me. 

* The die, however, was now cast ; there was no retreating. I 
should gladly indeed have returned to Europe, but I had not 
the means. I had no friend at home to whom I could apply 
except my father, and I would almost sooner have died than 
have added any more to the pressure of that anxiety which a 
numerous family necessarily caused him. In the West Indies, 
I was bound, if I would not forfeit the regard of all who were 
disposed to serve me, even to give no vent to those feelings 
which would have seemed to reproach them with cruelty. As 
the only alternative, therefore, I resolved to get rid of my 
squeamishness as soon as I could, as a thing which was 
very inconvenient And in this I had a success beyond my 

* Virgil's expression, " Easy is the descent to Hell," is a bold, 
but perfectly just representation of the rapidity with which we 
move downwards in the scale of moral rectitude when once we 
have made a voluntary declension from the path of duty. I 
soon satisfied myself that the duty which I owed to my em- 
ployers, for I used still to moralise, required the exact fulfilment 
of their orders ; and that the duty which I owed to myself, my 
father, and my friends, required that I should throw no 
obstacles, which the voice of all in the world whom I had 
hitherto known was so far from sanctioning, that it condemned 
them as foolish, childish, and ridiculous, in the way of my 

* At this time, that is in the year 1785, I find myself writing 
thus to a friend at home: — "But far other is now my lot, 
doomed by my own folly to toil for a scanty subsistence in an 
inhospitable clime. The air of this island must have some 
peculiar quality in it, for no sooner does a person set foot on it 
than his former ways of thinking are entirely changed. The 


contagion of an universal example must indeed have its effect. 
You would hardly know your friend, with whom you have spent 
so many hours in more peaceful and more pleasant scenes, were 
you to view me in a field of canes, amidst perhaps a hundred of 
the sable race, cursing and bawling, while the noise of the whip 
resounding on their shoulders, and the cries of the poor 
wretches, would make you imagine that some unlucky accident 
had carried you to the doleful shades." 

* This picture, shocking as it is, owes nothing to fancy ; but 
my mind was now steeled, and though some months before 
this period, in writing to the same friend I had had a heart to 
draw in very lively colours, and with pathetic touches which I 
really felt, the miseries of the negroes, yet now I was callous 
and indifferent, and could allude to them with a levity which 
sufficiently marked my depravity. I had indeed raised for 
myself an imaginary standard of justice in my dealings with 
them, to which I thought it right to conform. 

* But the hour of retribution seemed to be at hand. Dan- 
gerous, and repeated, and long-continued attacks of illness 
brought me frequently to the very borders of the grave. My 
sufferings were extreme ; and theynvere aggravated by the most 
cruel neglect and the most hard-hearted unkindness. There 
was a kind of high-mindedness about me which kept me from 
complaining even in my lowest extremity of wretchedness, nor 
did the hope of better days ever forsake me. Nay, when 
stretched upon a straw mattress, with "tape-tied curtains, never 
meant to draw,"^ burning with fever, pining under the want 
of every necessary comfort, shut out from the sight or converse 
of any one whom I could call a friend, unable to procure even a 
cup of cold water for which I did not myself crawl to the neigh- 
bouring rivulet, I maintained an unbroken spirit 

* I tremble to think on the stupid insensibility, nay the 
desperate hardness, with which at times I stood tottering upon 
the brink of eternity. Surely had I died then my place would 
have been where mercy is clean gone for ever, and where even 
God forgets to be gracious. May I not regard myself em- 
phatically as a brand plucked out of the burning? These 
judgments, however, like those which visited Pharaoh, served 
only to harden my heart. Indeed this is the effect which 


* In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half hung, 
The floors of plaister, and the walls of dung. 
On once a flock-bed, but repaired with straw, 
With tape-tied curtains, never meant to draw, 
The George and Garter dangling from that bed 
Where tawdry yellow strove with dirty red. 
Great Villiers lies,* 

Pope — Moral Essays^ Epistle iii. 


appears, if we consult our Bible and experience, to be the neces- 
sary result of afflictions when they do not lead the mind to God. 

* When health returned my sufferings were soon forgotten ; 
and better prospects opening upon me, and friends rising up 
daily who showed a willingness to serve me as soon as I was 
master of my business, I began to like my situation. " I even 
began to be wretch enough to think myself happy." 

* My outward conduct indeed, for a West Indian planter, was 
sober and decorous, for I affected superiority to the grossly 
vulgar manners and practices which disgrace almost every rank 
of men in the West Indies, but my habits and dispositions were 
now fundamentally the same. In these I was quite assimilated 
to my neighbours, and this is a part of my life of which I scarce 
like either to speak or think. It was a period of most degrad- 
ing servitude to the worst of masters. 

* While I was in this state of mind I received a letter from an 
uncle ^ in London, containing an advantageous offer if I chose to 
return to England. After much hesitation and debate I re- 
solved to accept the offer. I took my passage for London, and 
arrived there just as I had completed my twenty-first year. 

During my stay abroad, degraded as I became in some 
respects, I by no means lost my taste for reading. I had very 
few books, it is true, and very little time to peruse them, but 
I eagerly employed the little time I had in keeping alive my 
acquaintance with the French and Latin languages. Horace 
was my constant companion, and served to amuse many a 
tedious hour. I liked his philosophy, and I thought that I 
derived from it, as well as from Voltaire's poem on the equality 
of human conditions, motives to support me from sinking under 
my trials. I pleased myself with thinking so ; although I 
apprehend that I owed more to a constitutional firmness of 
nerve and to vanity, than to the plausible reasoning of Voltaire, 
or the justly conceived in many instances, and elegantly ex- 
pressed sentiments of the Roman poet. 

* The following criticisms which I made on one of the books 
of Virgil will show something of the springs which animated 
my conduct: — "Virgil, in this book, the tenth, appears as the 
moralist to great advantage. Where will there be found a 
more striking incentive to virtuous action than he gives in 
verse 467 ? * For however empty * fame ' may be considered in 

* In 1797 Macaulay writes to a friend: — 'Read Rudiments of Political Science^ 
by Angus Macaulay. It shows great depth of research, and closeness of thinking. 
He is a man of a very active turn of mind, and, as you will see, thinks for himself. 
Though he is my uncle, there exists between us a kind of brotherly intercourse ; he is 
one of my most confidential advisers, and I owe much to his friendship. ' 

^ Stat sua cuique dies : breve et irreparabile tempus Omnibus est vita: : sed famam 
extendere £ictis. Hoc virtutis opus. 


the eye of speculative philosophy, of all sublunary motives it 
certainly is the strongest, and, properly directed, the desire of 
it becomes the source of the most brilliant actions. There is 
indeed a self-applause which the* poet does not take into 
account, but which is inseparable from and necessarily produced 
by fame's well-earned meed." 

* I read very little during this period. Thomson, I think, was 
the only English poet I had with me, but his beauties were 
quite inexhaustible. I confess, however, that now I should not 
equally admire him as a constant companion. There is a cap- 
tivating glare spread over the sentimental parts of his Seasons 
which entirely conceals the poison they contain, while it serves 
in a peculiar manner to enchant youthful minds. I still admire 
Thomson, for how is it possible not to admire him ? But is it 
not plain that he banishes from his pictures of manners all 
religious motives and influences, and from his philosophy all 
religious views which do not consist with that thing called 

* My vanity, which the low situation to which I was reduced 
at times, it may have been supposed, would have tended to 
mortify, was on the contrary increased. The state of informa- 
tion among my brother book-keepers and overseers, and even 
among planters and merchants in Jamaica, is, generally speak- 
ing, very low. I was among them a kind of prodigy, and I was 
referred to on disputed points as an oracle. 

* One thing, however, amidst the thick cloud of evils where- 
with I was at this time enveloped I can now dwell upon with 
some degree of pleasure. I mean the boldness and fearlessness, 
and also the effect, with which I encountered the risks of the 
enmity likely to follow my pleading and assisting the cause of 
youth, oppressed by rigid overseers as I myself had been. 
With respect to my own sufferings I had been quite pliant, 
knowing the suspicions which always light on a man when 
pleading his own cause. But on behalf of others I could act 
more freely and with more effect. 

* I found when I returned to England, that I had contracted 
a boorishness of manner, arising doubtless from the nature of 
my employment and associations, which proved a dreadful 
mortification to my vanity when I came to perceive it, as I 

* Macaulay seems to have reproached himself with injustice to the poet, for he 
inserted at some subsequent period a long note at this point in his manuscript. In 
it he says : * I acknowledge that a mind rightly formed will find in Thomson much 
to enkindle devotion and to excite to pious meditation, independent of the exquisite 
pleasure, which, of itself, good poetry is calculated to convey.* His estimate of 
Thomson must appear to modern taste absurdly high ; but readers of Sense and 
Sensibility will rememljer that Miss Austen, when writing a few years subsequent 
to this period, classes Thomson, Cowper, and Scott together. 


soon did. While absent from Europe I had scarce seen a 
white lady ; and among men in the West Indies, whatever be 
their rank, there is a total emancipation not only from the 
trammels of ceremony, but, notwithstanding a great deal of 
hospitality and even kindness, from the more necessary forms 
of good-breeding. I am content to bear the occasional uneasi- 
ness still flowing from this source as a memento of the greater 
punishment I at that time of my return to England incurred, 
and as some check to my too prevalent passion for appearing 
well in the eyes of others. 

*I ought to observe here that at this time I was fond of 
games of skill, such as whist, backgammon, and draughts, and 
that I had attained, in spite of my limited opportunities, to a 
more than ordinary proficiency in them. On the passage home 
I had the misfortune to fall into the company of two amateurs 
of play. One, a son of the late Governor Winch, had already 
thrown away ;£'30,ooo on the turf and at gaming-tables, for 
which he had gained the praise of being, as he certainly was, 
the most graceful rider in England as well as one of the most 
eminent jockeys and whist-players. The other was a man of 
wonderfully versatile talents, but whom we afterwards dis- 
covered to be a swindler by profession. 

• I played at first very cautiously, and never permitted myself 
to be tempted to bet. But as my winnings increased, which 
they generally did, I was exposed to the danger of becoming 
attached to play, and the miseries which I felt would naturally 
follow such an attachment, I heroically resolved, therefore, to 
break the chain, and adopted some strong determinations on 
the point, which I have since, with few deviations, been able to 
keep. I say heroically, for in the then state of my mind, and 
with my feeble, inefficacious, and unsound principles, it was 
certainly no mean degree of self-denial to quench a passion 
which had risen to some height, and to deny my vanity the 
gratification of displaying the skill I had acquired, and for the 
acquisition of which I had paid many an hour of anxiety and 

The autobiographical fragment ends when Macaulay reached 
England, and was never continued. Indeed there was little 
occasion, as the voluminous letters and journals which he 
was soon to commence writing form an ample and almost con- 
tinuous record of his laborious existence. It is a relief to close 
this chapter of it, and to know that although Zachary Macaulay 
had his full share of troubles and anxieties in after life, yet the 
special class of difficulties which beset him in the West Indies 
was ended for him for ever. 




When Macaulay arrived in England in 1789, he found himself 
in circumstances calculated to bring about a remarkable change 
in the modes of thought and objects of ambition which he had 
hitherto pursued. A marriage had taken place in his family 
which was destined to affect powerfully his fortunes in life, 
and to develop the natural bent of his disposition in the most 
favourable manner. 

His elder brother Aulay, who was about ten years his senior, 
had taken orders in the Church of England with apparently 
the full approval of his father, and had in 1781 accepted the 
curacy of Claybrook in Leicestershire. Aulay Macaulay was 
a man of strong literary tastes and varied attainments ; he 
soon made many acquaintances in the neighbourhood where 
the greater portion of his life was to be spent ; but he formed 
a specially intimate friendship with that individual who may be 
considered to have exercised a paramount influence upon the 
character and upon the destiny of Zachary Macaulay. 

Thomas Babington was a young country gentleman of 
ancient lineage, and the owner of Rothley Temple, a pic- 
turesque and interesting mansion of great antiquity, situated a 
few miles from Leicester. It had been formerly a possession 
of the Knights Templars, and afterwards a Commandery of 
the Knights Hospitallers of St. John ; and at the time of the 
Reformation it passed by more honest means than many similar 
domains were acquired at that time, by genuine purchase, into 
the hands of his ancestor, Humphrey Babington. 

In 1787 Thomas Babington made, in company with his 
friend the curate, Aulay Macaulay, an expedition to Scotland 
for a tour of pleasure, an unusual adventure still at that period 
when Englishmen rarely crossed the Tweed except upon calls 


of business and duty. It was natural that Aulay Macaulay 
should desire to include Cardross in the itinerary of their 
route, and to take the opportunity of visiting his family whom 
he had not seen for ten years. During his absence his brothers 
had dispersed, three of the number having gone to the East 
Indies ; but his five young sisters were all at the manse. Mr. 
Babington soon found himself strongly attracted by Jean, one 
of the elder daughters, who had grown up to be a remarkably 
pretty and charming girl ; and instead of paying only the brief 
visit to Cardross which had been their original intention, the 
two friends prolonged their stay until Mr, Babington, having 
convinced himself that his happiness for life depended upon 
the answer, made the offer of his heart and hand to Miss 

The response was propitious to his wishes ; and as soon as 
he was assured of being acceptable to the lady of his choice, he 
wrote to announce his engagement to his family in England. 
The news of his approaching marriage in such remote wilds 
with the daughter of a Presbyterian Minister met with little 
favour among his neighbours in the country-houses and rectories 
of Leicestershire. It is amusing to see that his own relations 
seem to have regarded the affair with much the same feelings 
of astonishment and dismay with which the family of an Arctic 
explorer might hear of his intention to return home with an 
Esquimaux bride. 

But Thomas Babington's attachment was proof against all 
opposition. In due course of time the marriage took place ; 
and the young wife set out with her husband for England, 
cheered by the reflection that her brother the clergyman would 
be near her in the unknown country where her future lot was 
to be cast. As far as can be learned from the voluminous cor- 
respondence of the family, Jean Babington did not revisit her 
native country for forty years. 

Mr. Babington's strong affection did not blind him to the 
requirements of his position in life, and to the inevitable de- 
ficiencies of a young girl, however pleasing and clever she might 
be naturally, who had been accustomed only to the secluded 
and simple life of a Scotch manse, when suddenly transferred to 
the head of a large and hospitable establishment in a well- 
peopled neighbourhood in England. The plan he adopted for 


supplying her with the necessary education is somewhat divert- 
ing. Instead of taking Mrs. Babington direct to Rothley 
Temple, he arranged to go with her on a visit to Yoxall Lodge, 
the beautiful residence of his brother-in-law and close friend, 
Mr. Gisborne, in the very heart of Needwood Forest. It was 
under the care of Mrs. Gisborne, Thomas Babington's only 
sister, that the young bride was placed in order to learn the 
duties of her new position. 

It speaks well for the temper and sense of all concerned that 
this extraordinary plan thoroughly answered, and that the 
most cordial relations grew up and subsisted always between 
Mrs. Babington and her husband's family. At the end of a 
probation of six months she was pronounced capable of taking 
the head of her own house; and during her stay at Yoxall 
Lodge she had so entirely won the heart of her husband's 
mother that the old lady returned to Rothley Temple, and 
resided there until her death, on affectionate terms with the 
daughter-in-law whose arrival she had awaited with such alarm 
and disapproval. Jean Babington united to great personal 
charms and a warm heart a very lively disposition and con- 
siderable cleverness and quickness of apprehension. She held 
the reins of authority at Rothley Temple during the course 
of a long life, and ruled with a dignity and decision which 
made her a person of considerable consequence in the circle 
surrounding her. 

The character of Thomas Babington himself was one that 
may be better and more justly estimated by its effect upon 
his contemporaries than by any special performance of his 
own that has been left to the judgment of posterity. The 
peculiarity of his goodness, upon* which all who had been 
personally acquainted with him loved to dwell, was a perfect 
rectitude, a simple straightforwardness of speech and purpose, 
which inspired in minds that intellectually were of a far higher 
order than his own, respect for his opinion and confidence in 
his advice. The ancient walls of Rothley Temple became a 
centre where those who were in sympathy with his views upon 
the real purpose of life loved to assemble ; and each returning 
summer brought with it the chosen band of friends, linked 
together by the closest ties of religious hope and faith, by 
congenial tastes and habits, and, as time went on, by the 


common interest of endeavouring to free their fellow-creatures 
from degrading bondage. 

Macaulay was twenty-one years old when he landed from 
the West Indies. His father had died at Cardross a short time 
before his arrival in England, and he appears to have gone 
direct to Leicestershire, where he received an affectionate wel- 
come. Mrs. Babington, who had been his special companion 
formerly as the one of his sisters who was nearest him in age, 
had grown into a charming woman during his absence ; but 
she retained that preference for him over all the rest of her 
family which she continued to exhibit during her whole life, 
and which she afterwards extended to his children and to 
everything connected with him. 

To a young man of Macaulay's character who since his 
childhood had been entirely shut out from the happiness and 
softening influences of family life and domestic society, who 
had only lived where no affection was shown him, and among 
people who took no personal interest in him, the effect upon 
his mind of the change of scene into which his introduction to 
Rothley Temple brought him was beyond expression over- 
powering and bewildering. Thomas Babington, whose ideal 
of the duties of relationship was high, gave a kind reception to 
his brother-in-law, although the manners and behaviour of the 
young man did not at first prepossess any one in his favour. 
A daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Babington remembered hearing 
her parents relate that upon his first arrival from Jamaica her 
uncle Zachary was thought by most people to be a disagree- 
able, conceited youth, with self-sufficient, dogmatic manners, 
but that before long an entire change took place in him. 

The autobiographical fragment has shown the class of persons 
among whom Macaulay had lived since he was a boy of four- 
teen, and the standard of conduct among his superiors and 
equals in the West Indies to which he had been endeavouring 
to compel his conscience to conform. He now found himself 
living in intimate association with men in whose daily life he 
beheld every pure Christian principle brought into action, and 
whose motives and habits bore unflinchingly the closest scrutiny. 
Instead of the systematic indulgence and selfishness of those 
with whom he had spent his youth, he saw his present com- 
panions voluntarily renouncing that ease and enjoyment to 


which their wealth and position entitled them, in order to 
labour unceasingly for the welfare of their fellow-creatures, to 
whose necessities they devoted all the money they could spare 
from the duties of hospitality.^ Instead of the coarse language 
and boorish ignorance to which the experience of the last few 
years had accustomed him, Macaulay found himself in a decent, 
well-ordered circle of society where courtesy and good-breeding 
reigned supreme, where a high value was set upon the results 
of education and self-control, and where literature and politics 
were the subjects which formed the favourite relaxation of his 
new associates. 

Then for the first time since childhood his own nature was 
able to assert itself. Those qualities which had hitherto ex- 
posed him to the censure and ridicule of his companions and 
employers, and which in consequence he had laboured to sup- 
press and conceal, were the very qualities which he found, in 
this new sphere, alone entitled him to respect and affection. 
He learned for the first time that those feelings of humanity, 
which he had in vain struggled to repress and to conquer on 
the slave plantations of Jamaica, which he had believed himself 
called upon by duty and honour to eradicate as noxious weeds 
from his heart, were the natural instincts of a noble and 
generous mind, and were shared by all those among whom his 
lot was now cast 

Under these circumstances it is scarcely to be wondered at 
that Macaulay's character appeared to change and develop 
with a rapidity which would have been otherwise miraculous ; 
and that his kind brother-in-law, who watched with deep 
interest the effect upon his young kinsman of the novel sur- 
roundings in which he was placed, should soon perceive that 
there was an unusual force of character and depth of earnestness 
about the lad. 

Mr. Babington, and the select company of friends in whose 
society he lived, were accustomed to observe and criticise the 
conduct of those around them in a manner which often makes 
their letters very amusing reading. The minutest faults of 
temper, manner, and social habits did not escape the notice of 

^ As an illustration of the light in which these men looked upon themselves as 
simply trustees of their o 
was in the regular habit ( 
while others of the band < 


men like himself, Henry Thornton, Wilberforce, and others of 
his circle. It could not have been expected that these busy 
and important men of the world would have been able to 
acquire such an extensive knowledge of the shortcomings of 
every one about them. But it certainly was the case, and in 
their correspondence not only are graver errors touched upon, 
but many we^e the serious discussions as to whether it would 
be advisable to warn a young relation or friend against some 
foolish custom, and whether' some particular person should be 
invited to visit at their houses for the sake of the example which 
their households presented, and for instruction in the right 
path. But of all the band of friends Mr. Babington bore the 
palm for skill and tenderness in training and guiding the 
youthful mind, and he was acknowledged to be unrivalled in 
the art of reproof and exhortation. 

He now earnestly applied himself to the task of improving 
Macaulay. Never were pains bestowed on a kindlier soil, and 
never was a richer harvest reaped by the cultivator. Not only 
did Zachary Macaulay render priceless services to that great 
cause which Babington and his friends had adopted as their 
own, but he devoted himself from that time to his excellent 
brother-in-law with the ardour of an enthusiastic mind; and 
during the course of their long lives he did all that affection 
and attention could do to prove the gratitude he felt for the 
spiritual benefits which Mr. Babington had been the means of 
conferring upon him. Some years later, in writing to a rela- 
tion, Macaulay says : * If you were aware of the extent of my 
obligations to Babington you would not be surprised that in 
speaking of him I should express such deep affection. I never 
think of him but my thoughts are drawn to that Saviour with 
whom he first brought me acquainted ; and, if there be any 
consideration which more than another endears Babington to 
me, it is that of the relation in which he stands to me in Christ. 
Will you wonder now that my heart should be melted when I 
consider it ? ' 

The subject which engrossed the attention of Thomas 
Babington and his friends at the time when Macaulay returned 
from the West Indies was one upon which he was only too well 

For several years past a small number of humane men had 


been endeavouring to awake public attention to the evils of the 
Slave Trade. Their cause received a great increase of strength 
by the accession of Wilberforce to their ranks in 1787. His 
close friendship with Pitt, and the respect and esteem enter- 
tained for him by many of the leading politicians of the day, 
gave him considerable influence ; and while he advocated upon 
the benches of the House of Commons the suppression of the 
Slave Trade, his associates laboured indefatigably, in every part 
of England, to inform and arouse the opinion of the country. 

For the first time the details of the manner in which the 
Slave Trade was conducted were seriously presented to the 
knowledge of the nation. Wilberforce and his little group of 
allies adopted every means within their power to bring before 
the eyes of persons of political and social eminence some of 
Jthe horrors which were taking place daily in the routine of the 
Slave Trade. On one occasion they contrived to induce some 
members of the House of Commons to make an expedition to 
visit, as a matter of curiosity, a slave-ship that was fitting out 
in the Thames. The experiment succeeded beyond the most 
sanguine hopes of its originators. The members of Parliament 
returned shocked and indignant at the sight of the space into 
which the wretched slaves were to be crowded as a mere matter 
of course. One of the party. Sir William Dolben, was so deeply 
impressed by what he had seen that he lost no time in intro- 
ducing a Bill limiting the number of slaves allowed to be 
carried at one time in one vessel, and providing some further 
precautions to diminish their sufferings. The Bill passed both 
Houses of Parliament, and received the Royal assent on the 
iithof July 1788. 

But the alarm had now been taken by the enormous mass of 
persons who were interested in the maintenance of the Slave 
Trade; and when in the following Session Wilberforce gave 
notice of his first motion for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 
his opponents used every effort to prevent his obtaining any 
further success. In the face of an able and eloquent speech 
from Wilberforce which extorted the admiration of every side, 
and notwithstanding the warm support of Pitt, Fox, and 
Burke, it was agreed that the subject should be postponed 
until counsel should have been heard and evidence tendered at 
the bar of the House. The Sessions of 1790 and 1791 were 


occupied in harassing and protracted examinations before the 
Special Committee to which the question had been referred. 
But in the meantime a design had been formed by the friends 
of Abolition, of which the result was to undermine the Slave 
Trade in its central stronghold. 

The Settlement of Sierra Leone had been originally planned 
under the auspices of Granville Sharp, the well-known philan- 
thropist, with the object of providing for three or four hundred 
enfranchised negroes who were wandering in great destitution 
about the streets of London. A fine tract of land of about 
twenty square miles, situated between the rivers of Sierra 
Leone and the Sherbro, was purchased from the native king of 
the district ; and the soil being excellent, and wood and water 
plentiful, it was hoped with reason that the little Colony would 
thrive. But towards the end of 1789 some quarrel, arising out 
of the depredations upon the coast of the captain of an American 
slave-ship, irritated the surrounding natives, and in retaliation 
an attack was made by them on the Settlement, the Settlers 
were dispersed, and their town burned. 

Granville Sharp, however, did not abandon his project. By 
his exertions a Company was formed in England for the assist- 
ance of the Colony of Sierra Leone, and among the number of 
its Directors may be noted the auspicious names of Wilberforce, 
Henry Thornton, and Babington. Through the friendly offices 
of Wilberforce with Mr. Pitt, the Company were enabled to 
purchase from the Government dockyards, for the trifling sum 
of one hundred and eighty pounds, a small vessel, the Lapwing, 
which had been condemned to be broken up. It is difficult to 
understand the cause of this condemnation, as Wilberforce, in 
writing to recommend the vessel to the notice of Granville 
Sharp, particularly mentions that it is in a condition of high 
order and equipment. 

The Lapwing was despatched as quickly as was possible to 
Sierra Leone, and conveyed Mr. Falconbridge, an agent com- 
missioned by the Directors of the Company to report to them 
upon the state of the Settlement, and to take immediate 
measures for the temporary relief of the Settlers. It was soon 
followed by another vessel, which carried out to Sierra Leone 
the Reverend Nathaniel Gilbert, a clergyman of the Church of 
England, who had been appointed by the Directors to take the 


spiritual charge of the Colony, and Zachary Macaulay, whose 
mission on this voyage appears to have been one simply of 
interest and observation, prompted by Thomas Babington, who 
thought that his young brother-in-law would in all probability 
find at Sierra Leone some opening for the useful employment 
of his peculiar talents, and who also hoped that the companion- 
ship of Gilbert would prove beneficial to the religious training 
of his mind. In Macaulay's first letter to Mr. Babington from 
the West coast of Africa, dated River Gambia, January i, 1791, 
the following sentence occurs : 

* We arrived here on the 2Sth after a passage of four weeks, 
which passed very pleasantly in the society of Mr. Gilbert. I 
know not indeed that any period of my life ought to affect me 
as more peculiarly attended by a blessing from God, than that 
which I have spent in his company. My obligations to him are 
of a kind not easy to particularise. He is a man of real piety, 
of a meek and gentle spirit, and whose thoughts are as much 
raised above the things of this world, as his passionate attach- 
ment to an only child, and his fervent love to his brethren of 
men, will admit of.' 

Falconbridge was not able to collect together more than 
sixty-fottr of the original Settlers; but the report which he gave 
of the resources of the country was so favourable that the 
Directors resolved upon prosecuting their scheme. A Charter 
was granted in 1791, and the Company was incorporated under 
the title of the Sierra Leone Company, a large capital being at 
the same time raised among the friends of Abolition. The 
board of Directors was reconstituted. Mr. Henry Thornton, a 
member of Parliament and an eminent London banker, who 
had very early in life determined to devote his wealth and 
talents to the service of religion, agreed to accept the post of 
Chairrhan of the Court of Directors. His superior under- 
standing and knowledge of business were invaluable for the 
guidance of the infant Colony, and for the creation of its trade. 
But the duties he had undertaken proved so arduous that they 
entailed too heavy a strain upon his strength and powers, and 
deprived him for many years of all opportunity for the rest and 
relaxation which his delicate frame needed. 

A proposal was soon laid before the Directors to receive at 
Sierra Leone a large number of negroes who had enlisted in 


the British forces during the American War of Independence, 
and who had, at its termination, been settled in Nova Scotia as 
a reward for their loyalty. These poor people, hearing a vague 
rumour of the formation of a new Colony on the West coast of 
Africa, petitioned to be transferred to it from a climate and 
country entirely uncongenial to their constitutions and tastes. 
The -English Government, after receiving a reply from the 
Company accepting the negroes as Colonists, thankful to get 
rid of so troublesome a responsibility on such easy terms, agreed 
to defray the whole expense of their removal. About twelve 
hundred of these negroes arrived from Nova Scotia at Sierra 
Leone early in 1792, under the care of Lieutenant Clarkson of 
the Royal Navy, a brother of the celebrated Abolitionist, 
Thomas Clarkson. This officer was requested by the Directors 
to undertake the temporary superintendence of the Colony; 
and the town, which rose under his auspices, received the name 
of Freetown. 

Meanwhile a carefully organised attack upon the Slave Trade 
was carried on with unremitting vigilance in England and 
Scotland ; and the little knot of allies, who had hitherto been 
engaged in an unpopular and isolated struggle against fearful 
odds, began by degrees to ^ feel the support of the country 
behind them. 

One important step in the cause of Abolition was gained in 
the House of Commons during the Session of 1792. Mr 
Babington writes : 

^ April I, 1792. — Gisborne and I sat till six this morning in 
the gallery of the House. Gradual Abolition is resolved on by 
a majority of 238 to 85. The number of petitions which come 
up every day must make an impression on the minds of 
members. The Clergy in Scotland are almost universally 
Abolitionists, and earnest in the cause. The interest of the 
people is very important in this affair.' 

The motion which is here referred to was supported by Pitt 
in a speech of extraordinary eloquence. * For the last twenty 
minutes,' says Wilberforce, 'he really seemed inspired.* After 
a severe struggle the date for the Abolition of the Slave Trade 
was fixed for -the ist of January 1796. But the effect of the 
victory in the Commons was rendered useless by a Resolution 


of the House of Lords to proceed by calling evidence to 
their bar. 

In the spring of the same year Macaulay returned to 
England. The prudence, discretion, and firmness of character 
which he had evinced during his stay in the Colony had gained 
the approbation of the Directors, and he received the appoint- 
ment of second Member of Council at Sierra Leone. He left 
England again at the end of the year, and arrived in Africa in 
January 1793. Soon after his arrival he is mentioned in a letter 
written by the Swedish botanist in the employment of the 

* Mr. Macaulay, the second in Council, who arrived lately, is a 
very clever and sensible man, an elegant writer of great applica- 
tion, and besides just of the same turn of mind as Mr. Dawes.^ 
Thus they live together upon the most intimate terms, and this 
harmony I consider as very beneficent to the Colony.' 

The constant intercourse with Mr. Henry Thornton which the 
aflFairs of the Colony necessitated during the few months that 
Macaulay spent in this country, laid the foundation of that 
friendship, which, between minds of such a kindred stamp, 
ripened before long into close intimacy. Macaulay wrote with 
ease and pleasure to himself, and the chief share in the duty of 
preparing the despatches for the Court of Directors was de- 
volved before long upon him, by the common desire of his 
colleagues in the Council at Sierra Leone. His was, truly, in 
no ordinary degree, the pen of a ready writer. It is difficult to 
comprehend how he could have found leisure to create the mass 
of manuscripts, bearing no trace of haste either in the com- 
position of the sentences or in the penmanship, which remain 
in his firm, delicately formed, and perfectly distinct hand- 
writing. Besides the bulky despatches addressed to the 
Chairman of the Court of Directors, he kept for the private 
instruction of Mr. Thornton a minute Journal on foolscap, of 
the daily events in the Colony, which furnishes an entire account 
of his life at Sierra Leone ; while in long letters to Babington 
he indulges himself with dwelling upon those religious topics, 
and spiritual feelings and aspirations, which were the dearest 
thoughts of both their hearts, and on which they were able to 
communicate in perfect and unclouded sympathy. 

' The Governor. 


Macaulay was fortunate in some of his associates in the 
new Colony. Among the handful of Europeans in the service 
of the Company were a few in whose society he found constant 
pleasure. The Governor, Mr. Dawes, a man of high character, 
treated him from the first with confidence and respect. Dr. 
Thomas Winterbottom,^ the medical adviser appointed by the 
Court of Directors, was a man of a singularly amiable disposi- 
tion; and the Reverend Melville Home, who had succeeded 
Mr. Gilbert as Chaplain, is described by so good a judge of 
social qualifications as Hannah More as being ' sensible, lively, 
and zealous, and possessing imagination and enthusiasm.' 
Dr. Afzelius, the Swedish botanist, had been sent out in order 
to form and take charge of a garden of acclimatisation. 
Mr. Watt, a man of cultivation and energy, was intrusted with 
the superintendence of the Company's plantations which were 
upon the Bullom shore on the north bank of the Sierra Leone 
River, and were worked by free labour. 

Besides these gentlemen were a number of captains and 
mates of the Company's vessels, accountants and clerks em- 
ployed in their offices, and the English schoolmasters. Of 
these latter the one most frequently mentioned in the Journal is 
Mr. Garvin, who arrived at Sierra Leone during the summer 
of 1793. He had been engaged by the Directors at the recom- 
mendation of Dr. Ryland, a celebrated minister of the Baptist 
persuasion at Bristol, one of whose flock Garvin had been ; but 
the appointment proved disastrous to the peace of the Colony, 
and was a source of constant difficulty to Macaulay. 

A few miles from Freetown, on Bance Island,^ was situated 
the principal English slave factory on the coast, belonging to 
the Messrs. Anderson of Liverpool, at the head of which was a 
gentleman of the name of Tilley ; and about twenty miles 
distant was the French slave factory on Gambia Island, the 
business of which was conducted by M. Renaud, who contrived 
to cause incessant embarrassment and difficulties to his neigh- 
bours at Sierra Leone. 

This sketch will have described the persons and places most 
frequently referred to in Macaulay's Journal, which will itself 

* Author of An Account of the Native Africans in the Neighbourhood of Sierra Leone; 
to which is added an Account of the present State of Medicine amotig them^ published 
by Hatchard in 1803. 

' Sometimes called Bunce Island. 


now best narrate the course of events. The following letter 
from Mr. Babington was written in the spring after Macaulay 
sailed for the West coast of Africa. In this, and in other 
letters which will be given subsequently, the more intimate 
family details have been omitted as being of interest only 
to the correspondents. But these omissions will explain any 
abruptness that may lay the commencements and terminations 
of the letters open to criticism. 


Rothley Temple^ April 9, 1793. 

My dear Z., — I do not think myself guilty of any pro- 
fanation in taking up my pen on a Sunday to write to you. 
Indeed, when you come into my mind, my thoughts generally 
take a turn which makes them as proper for this as for any 
other day. I consider you as selected by the Lord, in a manner 
rather remarkable, as His instrument in a great work. The 
history of your life seems to me to vindicate a conclusion of 
this sort from the charge of enthusiasm, to which such con- 
clusions are not unfrequently liable. The examples and pre- 
cepts of piety you met with during childhood in your father's 
family ; your subsequent proficiency in some branches of learn- 
ing at Glasgow; your early embarkation for Jamaica, which 
afforded you time and opportunity for acquirements without 
which your going to Sierra Leone would not have been thought 
of; your first trip to England, which altered your ideas as to 
the Slave Trade, and gave me such a knowledge of you that I 
could afterwards speak with some confidence of your character 
and views to Mr. Thornton; the disappointment you ex- 
perienced in your attempts to fix yourself in England, which 
left you at liberty to accept the offer of the Sierra Leone 
Company ; your long stay in England before you embarked 
for Africa; and finally the remarkable coincidence of events 
which carried you out with a sincere Christian so peculiarly 
fitted to win on your affections, and satisfy your judgment, as 
Mr. Gilbert ; in all these dispensations I think I see the hand 
of your Lord conducting you to the arduous and honourable 
service on which you are now engaged. The history of your 
life, dear Zachary, seems to form a chain, no link of which 
could have been wanting without detriment. 

Lord Abingdon is to bring on a question on Thursday in 
opposition to the abolition of the Slave Trade. I fear we shall 
be defeated, and at a time most unfavourable for rallying our 


forces. On this, however, as on all occasions, reliance on God 
is our duty, and an unfeigned resignation of ourselves and our 
concerns to Him who best understands the interests of His 
kingdom, and will mature, in His good time, all plans which 
really conduce to His glory and the happiness of His creatures. 
Moses no doubt thought to have delivered his countrymen 
when he interfered in the quarrel between the Egyptian and 
the Israelite ; but forty years elapsed before he was called upon 
to undertake it. 

We are now at home again, and I find no small benefit from 
country exercise and untainted air. Poor Jean is far from well 
but I endeavour to keep myself easy by recollecting that all 
the dispensations of God are sent by Him for the purpose of 
producing the peaceful fruits of righteousness. She, I trust 
from my observation, is purified by them in some good degree, 
and proves the skill of the divine refiner. — Yours with true 
aflTection, Thomas Babington. 




^ June 1 8, 1793. — To-day Home and Winterbottom moved 
down to the house contiguous to that which Mr. Dawes and I 
occupy, so that we now form one family, and Mr. Dawes 
directs and manages everything. Of the three rooms in our 
house which we supposed to be finished, one is perfectly 
uninhabitable. In another, the dining-room, I have been able 
to find one corner for my mattress, but it leaks everywhere 
else ; and Mr. Dawes's room, which is the best, admits the rain 
in several places. 

* The Amy^ sailed on the i6th under convoy of the Orpheus 
frigate. By her I sent you letters, urging the Court of Directors 
to send us a speedy supply of goods for trade. Our present 
assortment must be completely exhausted in a few months in 
supplying the wants of the Colony, and paying native labourers. 
We intend to introduce as much as possible the practice of 
dealing in sterling money. 

* I must acquaint you with some proceedings of the com- 
mander of the frigate, in my opinion of a most nefarious 

* In the prizes 2 taken by Captain Newcome there were no 
less than seventeen black mariners, who had been engaged for 
hire to assist the European sailors in navigating the vessels. 
There was likewise on board of one of them a fine mulatto boy 
of about seven years old, with a negro woman who was either 
his mother or nurse. These were all sold to Bance Island. 
On inquiry I found that they were all free men, one or two of 
them of this neighbourhood, and who had accompanied M.Renaud 
on the trading expedition he lately made to Goree and Senegal. 
Mr. Tilley was indeed so considerate as to say he did not mean 

^ A vessel belonging to the Sierra Leone Company. 

^ The French had declared war against England early in 1793. 


to send them off the country, but would allow their friends to 
redeem them whenever they thought fit to send slaves in their 
room ; and that in the meantime their treatment should be 
humane. I am well disposed to believe his professions. But 
is there no possibility of punishing this act of injustice in the 
captain ? Why were the French seamen not put up to auction 
in the same manner? Is black and white to be permitted by 
Government to constitute the line which shall separate the 
captive in war from the slave ? These men were not only free, 
but some of them the sons of Chiefs. Previous to their fate, 
I had some suspicions that the case was as I have stated it to 
be, but was not able fully to inform myself till afterwards. 
Had I known it, I certainly should have been disposed to run 
every risk, and should have heartily joined to put my name to 
a bill on the Court of Directors for the amount of their ransom. 
The poor men would thus have got their liberty ; and, I think, 
a trial before an English jury would not only have super- 
seded your obligations, but have brought disgrace on those 
concerned.^ I would fain urge you to an investigation of this 
black transaction, and will endeavour to provide you with 

* It would appear from what is openly acknowledged by 
Signor Domingo * and some of the other Chiefs, that however 
cordial the people of Bance Island may now be to us, at our 
first arrival they had endeavoured to convince the natives of 
our sinister designs, and had instigated them to oppose our 
landing by promises of a supply of arms and ammunition. 
Falconbridge's professions and conduct indeed gave the Slave- 
traders great reason to believe that nothing less was intended 
than to ruin them by the most unfair means, such as enticing 
away their seamen, inveigling their slaves, and encouraging the 
natives to cut off slave-ships. 

*The General Ord, Captain Ducket, privateer from Bristol, 
arrived at the Settlement. He brought a prize taken off 
Senegal,' having on board about two thousand pounds' worth of 
Indian goods. While at Senegal he was perceived by the Fort; 
and being under American colours, the Governor believed he 
wished to cross the bar. The Governor accordingly borrowed 
a boat and some Grumettas * from M. Renaud, who was there 
at the time, and putting a pilot on board, sent it off to the ship 

* Mr. Thornton writes on the margin : * This idea does great honour to the head 
and heart of Mr. Macaulay, and I think the plan would have been completely 

* One of the Chiefs in the Sherbro, a large tract of country south of Sierra Leone. 

* The French colony noxth of the Gambia River. 
^ Native free labourers. 


with a very polite letter offering his services. The letter, I 
think, might have been considered by an honest man as a flag 
of truce. Captain Ducket, however, made a prize of the boat 
and crew. The crew happened all to belong to Sierra Leone, 
whence they had accompanied Renaud. Surely this is not the 
spirit, if it be the practice, of modern warfare ! Poor Renaud, 
who has now been bereft of almost all his property, by part of 
which every vessel that has come upon the coast has been 
enriched, is a harmless individual, desirous of injuring no one, 
anxious only to fulfil his commercial engagements, and equally 
connected in the course of his business with Englishmen 
and Frenchmen. By a course of (I will not say honest) 
industry, and the most unimpeached fidelity in his dealings as 
a merchant, he had acquired considerable property. He has, 
in a short space of time, been stripped nearly of all ; and should 
he return to Gambia Island, he will be obliged to answer to the 
natives with his life, or at least with the wrecks of his fortune, 
for those unhappy wretches, for whose safety he had pledged 
himself, and who have been reduced into a state of slavery by 
the cruel and avaricious conduct of a British commander and 
a commissioned robber. In a conversation with Ducket I 
inquired his intentions with respect to these men, as they were 
evidently free, and as numerous applications had been made to 
us by their friends to procure their liberty. He said he 
expected to be paid for them. Even that we should not have 
scrupled to do, had he not intimated that he could receive 
nothing in return but prime slaves, four feet three inches high. 
This put an end to our negotiation, and he carried them to 
Bance Island, and disposed of them to his wish. You will 
wonder, perhaps, at my not expressing all the indignation 
which such a conduct naturally creates. But we live in Africa, 
where, if we mean to live and do good, we must suppress our 
emotions, at least deny them vent 

^ June 19. — I visited Signor Domingo, and found him at 
dinner with Pa Sirey, who is nominated King of Logo, and a 
Maraboo or Mohammedan priest, whom he has at present 
employed in assisting at his sacrifices to the devil. Their meal 
consisted of nothing but rice moistened with palm oil, and 
washed down with water from the spring. The warm admirers 
of patriarchal simplicity might here have gratified their taste» 
but I felt no inclination to change a piece of cold mutton and 
a bottle of wine I had with me, for the honour of dining on 
rice and palm oil, even with Majesty. Signor Domingo reads 
the Portuguese language fluently. After dinner he produced 
his mass-book, and prayed with seeming devotion for some 
time, and he gave me to understand that it is a constant 


practice with him morning and evening to pray to God. He 
expressed great concern that for some years past he had seen 
no priest to whom he might confess his sins, and from whom 
he might receive absolution. To obviate the mischief which 
may arise from his dying in his present unsanctified state, he 
has left particular orders, that, as soon as he dies, two slaves 
shall be sent to Santiago ^ to a priest there, who may intercede 
for him and smooth his way to heaven. With all this he is 
anxious for the spread of the Gospel, and I think would engage 
willingly in any plan which might serve to promote it. He 
agrees to give a house and land to any schoolmaster that may 
be sent him, and to take him under his own protection. One 
expression of his struck me. " What more have I to do with 
the Slave Trade? It is time I should leave it off, ahd settle 
my account with God. I am old ; I ought to think only of 

^ June 21, — Mr. Dawes and I set off to pay our respects to 
some of the Chiefs. We called likewise at Gambia Island, 
where we were kindly received. The French seem to live very 
wretchedly at present. We made them an offer of assistance ; 
indeed, since the commencement of the disturbances, we have 
rather paid them more attention, and shown them more civili- 
ties, than before. The soil of Gambia Island is rich, but it is 
surrounded with swamps full of mangroves, consequently 
unhealthy. The Europeans there are very sickly. The build- 
ings are mean. There is an open battery in front of them on 
which are mounted four four-pounders. 

*June 24. — I went up to Bance Island to attend the sale of 
some prizes. One of them was a French brig which had been 
taken in the Sherbro, and whose capture had been attended by 
every circumstance which could aggravate the necessary hard- 
ship of such an incident. She had been made a prize by the 
Swift privateer of Bristol. The officer, who boarded her, stript 
the captain, surgeon, and crew of all their wearing apparel, took 
from the captain's fob a gold repeater, and robbed him of his 
sword, buckles, &c. But this did not satisfy him ; he observed 
a diamond ring on the captain's finger, and immediately laid 
claim to it. The poor man pleaded that it was given him as a 
gift, and prayed that he might be allowed to keep it. This 
respectable officer, whose name was Llewellyn, told him, that 
unless he delivered it instantly, he would be put to death, 
and seizing hold of the man's finger, began to pull it off. But 
finding it a difficult matter to do this, as the ring had remained 
there a long time, he was proceeding to cut off the finger as the 

^ One of the Cape de Verde islands. 


easiest way of accomplishing his purpose. But he was pre- 
vented from going that length, for the French captain, after a 
good deal of trouble, freed his finger from the ring, and gratified 
the monster. Some native free women who had been put on 
board the vessel as pledges were made prisoners of, and sent to 
the West Indies. The above is the French captain's account, 
and I am inclined to think it true. I bought nothing, except a 
boat for Mr. Watt's use. Bance Island, as things are at present 
constituted, is a most unpleasant place. Tilley is indeed a man 
of decency and propriety in his external conduct ; but the 
motley crew of traders and ship captains, who to the number of 
about twenty usually infest the place, render it a scene of con- 
tinual dissipation and confusion. Their mode of living is 
licentious in the extreme ; and, as may be expected, few of 
them are long lived. Since the commencement of the rains, a 
good many whites have already died there. There is only one 
dwelling-house on the island, so that the sick are exposed to 
all the noise, bustle, and clamour of slaves in the slave-yard, 
occasioned by the extensive trade of the place. In short, I am 
surprised how any who once gets ill can recover in such a 
place ; and I have reason to believe it no exaggeration to say 
that, of those who come hither from Europe, fifty per cent die 
the first year. 

^June 28. — I set off myself in tlie Ocean, with the intention of 
visiting the Isles de Los^ and the Bananas,^ and then proceed- 
ing to the Sherbro. 

^June 29. — I arrived at the Isles de Los, and agreed with 
Mr. Horrocks for the purchase of forty puncheons of rum. 
If the Court of Directors should think the bargain a hard 
one, they must partly blame themselves, for had we been 
regularly supplied we should not have been driven to this 

^Sierra Leone, July 3, 1793. — I found on my arrival that the 
Lapwing had been despatched after me, with a request that I 
would return immediately, to assist in the arrangement of some 
important matters. I have mentioned that Renaud had been 
at Gambia Island in an armed sloop. Afterwards he visited 
Bance Island, where, meeting with Captain Ducket of the 
privateer, he charged him with having piratically taken a large 
sloop, together with a boat of his, and with having killed some 
men in the former, while, contrary to the established laws of 
nations, he had American colours hoisted. He further chained 

* A group of rocky islands about sixty miles north of Sierra I«one, where a Urge 
slave business was carried on by Messrs. Horrocks and Jackson. 

* An island thirty miles south of Sierra Leone, where two very powerful Slave- 
traders lived, Cleveland and Bolland. 


him with having sold the men who were in his boat to Bance 
Island, although, even according to Tilley, they were con- 
fessedly free, and natives of this river. All his expostulations 
were ineffectual, and the captives were peremptorily refused 
him unless he paid the price of their redemption. Renaud's 
indignation was strongly excited by this conduct, and when 
Ducket left Bance Island to return to the Settlement, Renaud 
likewise took his leave. They set off in different directions, 
but no sooner did Tapo conceal them from the sight of Bance 
Island than Renaud pursued Ducket, overtook him, and made 
him prisoner. He was treated respectfully, but told that he 
must purchase his liberty by the restitution of the sloop and 
cargo, of the free men he had sold, and of all the freemen who 
had been sold in the same nefarious manner by the commander 
of the Orpheus} It was impossible for Ducket to comply with 
these requisitions, as everything had been disposed of to Tilley. 
Tilley therefore prepared to attack Gambia Island with a con- 
siderable force, aided by the privateer, in order to rescue 
Ducket, and avenge what he called an unparalleled insult. In 
this emergency, alarmed at the prospect of a bitter war so near 
our Settlement, and apprehensive that circumstances might arise 
which would involve us in the quarrel, we resolved on assuming 
the office of mediators, and Strand ^ was accordingly despatched 
with a remonstrance from Mr. Dawes to Gambia Island, point- 
ing out the impracticability of fulfilling Renaud's demands, the 
likelihood of his obtaining redress by the legal mode of a 
representation to the English Court of Admiralty, and our wish 
of composing the unhappy differences which existed between 
him and Bance Island. 

' In consequence of his application Ducket was released, the 
prisoners restored without ransom, and Renaud received a 
convincing proof of our peaceable intentions. He proposed to 
Strand to engage in the Company's service. Strand referred 
him for an answer to Mr. Dawes, and this day was fixed on for 
the conference. 

'I happened luckily to arrive from my expedition to the 
Isles de Los at the same time with Renaud. His proposals 
were that the Company's flag should be hoisted on Gambia 
Island, and that he should relinquish the Slave Trade, and 
engage himself as a trader to the Company. 

*It will be necessary to observe that Renaud is vain, im- 
moderate, and sanguine, though at the same time active, 
acute, and intelligent. 

^ See anttt page 26. 

' One of the English schoolmasters. 


* Our reply was that Renaud would readily see the impro- 
priety of our violating our neutrality, by taking possession of 
an island, on which the French standard had been erected, 
under the authority of the French Government We observed 
that, at present, we found little encouragement, on account 
of the war, to indulge such extensive views of commerce, 
especially as we must lay our account occasionally to make 
a sacrifice of truth for the preservation of property. It had 
been very much our wish, we said, to preserve the peace of 
the river, and that we now wished, by a treaty of strict 
neutrality, to give a test of our good intentions, while we 
received a like pledge from him. We intimated at the same 
time that we entertained a perfect contempt of any attempts 
which privateers might make against us; and that we were 
assured that vessels bearing the national commission of France 
would have orders from their superiors to respect our Colony 
and flag.i A paper was accordingly drawn up and signed 
by both parties, binding each other to the observance of a 
strict neutrality. 

^July 4. — It was discovered to-day that the Store had been 
robbed of copper money to the amount of thirty or forty 
pounds. A reward was offered on conviction of the thief. 
I mentioned before that a boy slave had escaped from the 
Nassau^ and was supposed to be concealed in the Settlement. 
To-day we learned he was trepanned on shore, and sold 
to M. Cramond of the African Queen, by some one resident 
in the Colony. We hope to come to a thorough knowledge 
of this transaction. 

^July 6. — During the last night there was some more copper 
money stolen from the Store. The money was removed to 
a more secure place, and diligent search made for the robber, 
but without effect Some of the Settlers proposed to dis- 
cover the criminal by incantations, but we soon put a stop 
to this procedure. 

* I have been endeavouring to convince King Jammy^ of the 
absurdity of employing witchcraft to convict of crime, but my 
arguments had no effect on him. " If any man dead," he said, 
"make me talk to him. I tell you presently what kill him." 
This was unanswerable. Signor Domingo told us that a man 
in his town had been sold a little time before, on pretence of 
having changed himself by means of witchcraft into a leopard, 

^ This impression arose from assurances, emanating apparently from La Fayette, 
that a Colony established upon the true principles of freedom should not be molested, 
and that orders should be issued to the French commanders to observe a strict 
neutrality towards it. 

^ The Chief whose attack was the cause of the dispersion of the original 


and in that shape carrying away some fowls and goats from the 
Signer's town. Strange accusation ! The only feasible account 
I can procure of this matter is that sometimes men, actuated by 
a desire of resenting some injury, do clothe themselves in the 
skin of a leopard, and so habited, execute some scheme of 
revenge. The metamorphosis is supposed real by the super- 
stitious natives, who are encouraged in that notion by the 
Chiefs, whose purposes it serves occasionally to raise the 
accusation against an obnoxious individual, and thus to carry 
him off. I am told an instance lately occurred in the Sherbro 
of a man who disguised himself in the skin of an alligator, and 
availing himself of the darkness of the night, dreadfully 
mangled a poor girl who was bathing in the river, and to whose 
family he owed some ill-will. But I imagine that for one 
instance when the charge is well founded, in twenty it is suppo- 
sititious, and that those accused often prefer the slavery attached 
to a confession of guilt to the proof of their innocence by red 
water, which, though not here, yet in the Sherbro is almost 
always mortal. 

* Sunday y July 7. — Home preached with his usual fire, per- 
spicuity, and simplicity, on the withering of Jeroboam's hand, 
and took occasion to make such observations on the sin of 
incantations, which he considered as a prelude to a relapse into 
that idolatry from which by God*s grace the Settlers had been 
lately rescued, which above all sins had been ever peculiarly 
marked by the displeasure of the Almighty, and which had 
perhaps been one reason why the wrath of God had visited the 
coast of Africa with such signal calamities, as I think could not 
fail of producing happy effects. 

*July 10. — I sailed on the 8th in the Ocean for the Bananas 
and the Sherbro. We had terrible rains and southerly winds, 
and reached the Bananas this afternoon. I went on shore 
and bought three tons of camwood from Cleveland, who was 
extremely civil. I proposed to him and BoUand to contract 
for rice. Sailed for the Sherbro. 

^ July 13. — We reached Jenkins ^ last night, and had no sooner 
come to an anchor than we received a message from Addow, 
the Chief of all Sherbro, inquiring whence we came. To-day 
I waited on Addow, and was surprised by the appearance of 
a man who, though about ninety years of age, is still active, 
sensible, and vivacious. I explained to him the motives of my 
present visit, which was to acquaint myself with him and the 
other Chiefs, to pay the customs, to fix factories on a sure 
footing, and to give them a thorough knowledge of the views 

^ The principal town of the Sherbro. 


and intentions of the Sierra Leone Company, The old man 
entered very readily into our views, and agreed to take our 
traders under his protection, and to be answerable for any 
injury they might sustain. In the Sherbro there are three 
Kings, and Addow has the nomination of all of them. He 
acts likewise as collector of the customs, so you may readily 
suppose, then, that his influence is all-powerful. He agreed to 
accept of a hundred and sixty bars as a full discharge of the 
customs of all the various branches of the Sherbro, a sum that 
does not amount to one half of what slave-dealers are obliged 
to pay. He promised to send one of his boys to the Settlement 
for education, and expressed an intention of visiting it himself. 
He told me that Chambard^ had hitherto made no trade 
owing to a difference between him and the natives, and at my 
desire he sent for him and the headman of the place where he 
resides, that the difference might be adjusted. 

^ July 14. — Addow dined on board. We talked much of the 
Settlement and the Company's views, which he listened to with 
seeming satisfaction. He promised to give his protection to 
a missionary, or schoolmaster, should we send one. Although 
occasionally engaged in the Slave Trade, he seems to rejoice in 
the prospect of its abolition. Some years ago his town was 
destroyed by James Cleveland, and many of his people carried 
away into slavery. He still waits an opportunity of revenging 
this injury. 

*I found Chambard and his landlord had arrived. I went 
ashore with them to Addow's, where, after hearing their mutual 
recriminations, it was determined that, in consideration of six 
gallons of rum and six pounds of tobacco, his landlord should 
immediately build, in a commodious situation, for the use of 
the Company, a good dwelling-house after the manner of native 
houses, a rice house, a yard for camwood, and a fowl house ; 
that this being done, Chambard should dispose of his goods as 
soon as possible, and that he should then be removed from the 
situation, and some one placed there of a less impetuous and 
more accommodating temper than this testy Frenchman. 

^July 17. — Having finished my business, we set sail ; and 
feeling myself indisposed, I thought it most prudent to return 
to Sierra Leone.' 

One of the principal chiefs in the Sierra Leone district^ 
Naimbanna, King of Robanna, was an African native of un- 
common intelligence. He observed the superiority of Euro- 

^ Chambard was one of the Company's traders who had been settled at a district 
called the Camarancas, and who was constantly causing trouble by his quarrels -vrith 
the natives. 


peans, and attributed the barbarous state of his own people to 
the difference of their religion. He was however much per- 
plexed when his inquiries led to the discovery of there being 
various forms of religion in the civilised world, and after much 
deliberation finally hit upon a singular method of solving his 
difficulties. He requested the Sierra Leone Company to send 
his eldest son to England to be instructed there. A second 
son was despatched to Turkey, with orders to become a 
Mahommedan ; while the Roman Catholics took charge of a 
third, who was brought up in Portugal. The results of the 
education thus bestowed were to determine Naimbanna in the 
choice of a religion for his subjects. 

The eldest son, who had accompanied Mr. Falconbridge on 
his return home, was at that time a man of about thirty years 
of age. His amiable qualities and anxiety for instruction 
excited considerable interest in England, where great pains 
were taken to cultivate his faculties. After some time he was 
baptized at his own earnest desire, Mr. Henry Thornton and 
Mr. Granville Sharp being his sponsors, and giving him the 
names of Henry Granville. Macaulay wrote about him in 
1796 to a friend who had criticised severely a tract published 
in England embodying the story of Henry Granville's life : — 

* Your observations on the story of Naimbanna's running out 

of St. Paul's Cathedral may be partly just. I think, however, 

that there is an essential difference between St. Paul's and 

every other large building in London. The idea of its being 

God's house is calculated to solemiiise the mind; and there 

is certainly something very terrific in looking down from the 

gallery, which must necessarily heighten any impression of 

reverential awe which is inspired by the majestic and stupendous 

air of the place on first entering. That he should immediately 

connect an affecting and even terrifying sense of his own un- 

worthiness with an increased impression of the divine greatness 

and majesty appeared to me an evidence of a well-turned mind. 

It was Job's feeling, "now mine eye seeth thee." It was Isaiah's 

** Woe is me, for I am undone, for mine eyes have seen the 

King the Lord of Hosts." I have not the tract at present to 

refer to ; but what ought to have been made of the story was 

to show how the impressive view of God's power and greatness 

^v^hich the place was calculated to give, in a very lively way 

p» reduced in him a more heartfelt sense of sin and a greater 

cJ read of its consequences, which was exactly the effect it ought 


to have produced. I doubt whether the name of pious could 
well attach to Naimbanna at this period. It was soon after his 
arrival in London, when he was as yet very partially enlightened 
indeed with respect to the great truths of Christianity/ 

The death of the old Chief, his father, in 1793 cut short Henry 
Granville's studies, and he sailed for Africa with Mr. Graham, 
one of the gentlemen in the service of the Sierra Leone Com- 
pany, and attended by a native servant from his own country 
who had followed him to England. Great hopes were enter- 
tained as to his future usefulness in forming confidential rela- 
tions between the natives and the free Colony, and in preventing 

^July 18, 1793. — For the first time, I feel a difficulty in 
addressing you. Fain would I draw a veil over the continua- 
tion of my journal, and were it possible, save your mind the 
unavailing pain it must excite. I was highly pleased in the 
morning to observe that the Naimbanna^ had arrived, and already 
enjoyed by anticipation letters from Europe, and a meeting 
with Henry Granville. I was not long permitted to indulge 
myself in such expectations. A messenger from Mr. Dawes 
waked me from my dream by announcing to me that about ten 
hours before, your amiable friend had winged his flight to 
another world. 

* The shock of this severe and unexpected dispensation was 
so sudden, that I was scarce convinced of its reality until a 
smart stroke of fever had brought me to myself. How marvel- 
lous are Thy works, O God ! The ways of Thy providence are 
indeed past finding out. The eye of finite reason in vain looks 
in this event for even probable good consequences, and but for 
a conviction that He whose eye pervades the universe maketh 
all things work together for good, I should be apt to rank this 
incident in the list of irreparable evils. 

'According to Mr. Graham's account Henry Granville had 
left Plymouth in perfect health, but began to feel unwell as 
soon as they reached a warmer climate. His mind appeared 
uneasy. The dread of a disappointment in the objects nearest 
his heart seemed to weigh on him more strongly as he drew 
nigh his native shores. Numberless were the plans he amused 
himself with devising for spreading the Gospel, and opening the 
eyes of his countrymen ; but he seemed tortured with the dread 
that obstacles too powerful for him to cope with would arise to 
obstruct his designs. As he approached the African coast, the 

* A vessel in the service of the Company named after the late King. 


heat affected him very violently ; he was seized with a fever, 
which was soon followed by delirium. His few lucid moments 
afforded to those around him edifying marks of a humble trust 
and confidence in the mercies of God, and of a perfect resigna- 
tion to the divine will. 

*0n the 14th the intermission of his delirium was of a longer 
duration than it had been before. He took the opportunity 
of calling Mr. Graham to him, and telling him with great firm- 
ness of mind, " My friend, I begin to think that God intends to 
call me hence ; and I fear the message may come before I have 
an opportunity of telling my mother and friends the mercies of 
God towards me, and my obligations towards the Sierra Leone 
Company. Take pen and ink, and write what I shall dictate." 
In the presence of Captain Woollis and the black servant James, 
Mr. Graham wrote as follows : 

'"On board the Naimbannay July 14, 1793. 

' " I, Henry Granville Naimbanna, having been for some days 
very unwell, and being apprehensive that I may not reach my 
friends, have communicated the underwritten in the presence of 
the subscribers. 

'" It is my will and desire that my brother Bartholomew do 
pay to Sierra Leone Company thirteen tons of rice, or the value 
thereof, being in consideration of the sums expended by the 
said Company on my account. And likewise that my said 
brother do pay the sum of fifty pounds to Henry Thornton, 
Esq., which is for money advanced by him for me. It is my 
will that my brother should inherit all my estate until my son 
Lewie shall be of age, and that he will always do his endeavour 
to be on a good understanding with the Sierra Leone Company. 
And more particularly I request he may, as far as in him lies, 
oppose the Slave Trade. And further, that nothing injurious 
may be imputed to the Sierra Leone Company by any evil- 
minded men whose interest may be in opposition to the worthy 
Company, I here declare, in the presence of that God in whom I 
place my trust, that during my stay in England, always I 
enjoyed very good health, and received the greatest civilities 
from all those whose care I was under, and at my leaving 
England I was in perfect health." 

* He then complained of fatigue, and said he would postpone 
the remainder till he had taken a little rest But in a short 
time his fever and delirium returned with increased violence, 
and scarce ever left him afterwards. 

* When the Naimbanna came to an anchor at the Settlement, 
Winterbottom immediately repaired on board, but your friend 


was already beyond the reach of medical skill. He was brought 
to Mr. Dawes's house on the morning of the 17th in a state 
which showed him to be no longer of this world. An express 
had been despatched to Robanna on the first intimation of 
Henry Granville's state, and his mother, brothers, and sisters 
appeared at Freetown. His brother Bartholomew seemed to 
feel little on the occasion, but heartfelt anguish was depicted on 
the countenance of his cousin Harry, an ingenuous young man, 
and the wildness of his sisters' grief, and the distraction of his 
poor mother, were too shocking for description. For about 
an hour before his death he spoke to no one, and expired with- 
out a groan about seven in the evening. The body was hurried 
away by his friends on board a canoe, and conveyed immediately 
to Robanna. 

'To-day Mr. Dawes, Home, and Graham followed with a 
coffin, and a puncheon of rum for his Cry. I was too ill to 
attend them. Mr. Home performed the funeral service over 
him, and finished with an extempore prayer, so affecting as to 
convey the soft infection to the ignorant crowd who listened to 
it, and to melt them into tears. This done they left the place, 
and the coffin was interred after the manner of the country. 

* Some things I must now touch upon which will not diminish 
your concern on this occasion. In his pocket-book was found 
a paper on which he had written, apparently while at Plymouth, 
as follows : " I shall take care of this company which I now 
fallen into, for they swears good deal, and talked all manner of 
wickedness. Can I be able to resist that temptation, no I 
cannot, but the Lord will deliver me." On a leaf of his pocket- 
book there was written, evidently while at sea, "I have this day 
declared that if Sierra Leone Company's vessels should all be 
like the Naimbannay or have a company like her, I will never 
think of coming to England, though I have friends as dear to 
me as the last word my Father spoke when he gave up the 

* We considered ourselves as called on to institute an inquiry 
into the circumstances which had led to this declaration, and 
we found that the mate and crew were addicted to the use of 
the most horrid oaths and imprecations, which when Captaiti 
Woollis at Henry Granville's instance endeavoured to correct, 
he found himself unable. This circumstance seemed to have 
wounded him to the soul. The cabin, too, was extremely- 
uncomfortable, the skylight had been broken, and there was no 
glass on board to repair it with. In preparing the NainibattTt^x 
for sea, the most unpardonable neglect appears in every 

^July 21. — I have been confined to bed with fever, but felt 


better to-day. During my absence, Mr. Chilton the school- 
master died. His loss will be much felt in the Colony. 

* Harry Naimbanna came down to Freetown, and delivered to 
Mr. Dawes a threatening letter, written by Elliot,^ and signed 
by Bartholomew, accusing the captain of the schooner of having 
poisoned Henry Granville. 

* I find that after Mr. Dawes left on the i8th, the friends of 
Henry Granville tried by incantation to discover the cause of 
his death. The body was placed in an erect posture, and 
examined by some skilful necromancer. It was successively 
asked if the Sierra Leone Company, if Mr. Dawes, if Dr. Winter- 
bottom, if Mr. Graham, etc., etc., had caused his death. The 
corpse continued motionless. The fated name of Captain 
Woollis was then mentioned, and the body gave a nod of 
assent. They allege that the Guinea traders had bribed 
Woollis to contrive his death, but the real foundation of the 
charge was as follows. The black man, James, had been turned 
out of the cabin by Henry Granville on account of his laziness, 
and put before the mast, where the captain had wished him to 
do some duty, and to assist in navigating the vessel. He did 
not relish this exercise, and in revenge he intimated to the 
queen that he believed that Woollis bore her son ill-will, and 
that he had seen him mix a cup of tea for him, in which he 
suspected there was poison. This hint was sufficient. It was 
artfully worked up by Elliot into a feasible story. He 
endeavoured to persuade them that the service of plate sent 
to Lieutenant Clarkson had been intended for King Naim- 
banna ; that royal robes and a gold crown had been sent from 
England for him ; that the vessel Naimbanna was intended as 
a present to the King, agreeably to a promise of Clarkson's, 
and that the goods on board of her were meant as a further 
f>ayment to the Chiefs for the land we occupy. So that they 
believe that Henry Granville had been put to death in order to 
prevent the discovery of these things. 

*July 24. — Tilley came from Bance Island to warn us that the 
friends of Henry Granville were exasperated to a high pitch. I 
also received a confidential messenger from Renaud, telling us 
that the natives had the most serious designs against us and 
the Colony ; and that we ought to keep a good watch on board 
ship and in our own house. Little time was allowed for de- 
liberation. We rightly judged it would be easier to deter 
the infatuated people from making any attempt against us by 
a show of preparation, than to remedy the mischief of such an 

* One of the original Settlers who had attached himself to the service of King Naim- 
banna at the time of the dispersion of the Colony. Granville Sharp had given him 
some education in England. 


attempt after it had been made. We accordingly put the 
Settlers on their guard, mounted four twelve-pounders in front 
of Mr. Dawes's house, flanking it with a couple of four-pounders 
pointed up the river, and two howitzers. The house was lined 
with small arms, and ball cartridges placed at hand to use 
should there be occasion. A watch was likewise kept. 

^ July 25. — Renaud visited us, which gave us the opportunity 
of finally reconciling the difference between him and Tilley, 
which might have rendered it impossible for us to preserve our 
neutrality. He and Tilley left us with strong assurances of 
exerting themselves to serve us, and with promises of the 
earliest intelligence. 

^ July 26. — An express arrived from Bance Island, informing 
us that Signor Domingo had confessed to Tilley that Elliot was 
at the bottom of the business. We found on inquiry that the 
Settlers were determined to stand by us. A few were pointed 
out to us as enemies to the Colony, and of these Elliot and his 
brother are the principal. We placed two cannons on Thornton 
Hill, and one on the path which leads to King Jammy*s, and 
another on the path which leads to Signor Domingo's, so that 
we now present a formidable front on every quarter. 

* Our situation is really far from pleasant. We live, not in 
fear, but in incessant watching. We are surrounded by arms 
of all denominations. Our bedsides are furnished with weapons 
ready for occasion, and our slumbers are short and interrupted. 
That your Colony has anything to apprehend from the force of 
the country united against it I do not believe, but against the 
native mode of warfare we have but slight defences. Their sole 
object is revenge ; and their mode of obtaining it is generally 
by stealing into a place in the dead of night, stabbing as many 
as they can without raising the alarm, and setting fire in their 
retreat. Our own persons are safe, but we cannot so well 
answer for the helpless families who reside in the skirts 
of the town, or who have extended themselves into the 

^August I. — King Jammy sent to Mr. Dawes requesting of 
him to come to his town, as he had some things of consequence 
to communicate to him. Watt was commissioned to attend 
his Majesty in Mr. Dawes's name, and returned with the 
following message: — "King Jammy's compliments to Mr. 
Dawes. No person has a right to call palaver without King 
Jammy's liberty." Signor Domingo acknowledged he had 
been precipitate, made the lowest submissions to King Jammy, 
and got him to agree to attend the palaver, which he had 
arranged for to-morrow. 

^August 2, 1793. — We judged it necessary to be on our 


guard, and a party of constables with the Hundreders ^ at their 
head, attended for the preservation of order. 

' All the gentlemen of the Colony having been summoned to 
attend took possession of the hall, which was lined with arms, 
and the doors of which, one excepted, were so fastened that 
none could procure admission. On the outside of the threshold 
of the open door Mr. Dawes and myself placed ourselves. In 
the piazza, the Chiefs formed themselves into a ring on each 
side of us. Without them stood crowds of their followers, and 
a body of our Settlers stood at hand to prevent disorder and 

'Signor Domingo opened the business in a long harangue. 
The purport of the message was as follows: — "That the 
Queen had no palaver against the Company, or against Mr. 
Dawes, who was a good man, and had always done good to 
everybody. That it was Captain Woollis against whom she 
had a palaver, as he had poisoned her son, while at sea, with a 
cup of tea. As a compensation for this crime, she demanded 
that the sum of six hundred bars should be instantly paid to 
her, in which case she would drop all thought of war. If, how- 
ever, the captain should pretend to deny the crime so clearly 
proved against him, Mr. Dawes must send him up to Robanna, 
that he might exculpate himself by drinking Red Water 
according to the laws of the country." The last demand 
excited such a general burst of laughter among the natives as 
convinced me they regarded it as absurd and impracticable. 
Poor Woollis's distress during the conference was truly 

*Mr. Dawes then spoke, and pointed out the necessity of 
producing proof to substantiate the charge, and said if that was 
done, he would himself be the first to punish the captain's 
crime. This appeared so reasonable, that they agreed to bring 
forward their evidence. James was accordingly called on. He 
denied, however, having seen Captain Woollis give Henry 
Granville poison. He had seen him mix some camomile tea 
for him, but could not say that he had put poison in it. They 
were all disconcerted at this, for they had expected that he 
would have given very pointed evidence. Mr. Dawes again 
spoke, and showed the danger of giving ear to such idle tales, 
and put Signor Domingo in mind of his son in England, who 
would not be allowed to continue there if such was to be the 
consequence of an accident happening to him. He then read 

1 The Colony was divided into districts of ten families, the heads of which chose 
sLnnually a Tithingman, and every Tithingman elected a Hundreder. All regulations 
were laid by the Governor and Council before the Tithingmen and Hundreders, and 
on their approval, were declared to be law. 


the will which Henry Granville had dictated, which staggered 
them all very much. I then spoke, and pointed out the many 
advantages we should have derived from his living. They all 
agreed it was unnecessary to say more, but that, for form's 
sake, the Queen must know what had passed, previously to 
decision, and a cutter was accordingly despatched for her. 

^August 3. — The Queen, and Pa Yabba, a brother of the late 
King, arrived. The poor old woman appeared much afflicted. 
The ring being formed. Pa Yabba acquainted us that having 
heard what had passed yesterday, he and the Queen were satis- 
fied that no blame lay with us, and that they wished to shake 
hands. After having ratified the peace, Mr. Dawes told the 
Queen that he would still be as ready as ever to do good to her 
and her family, but he requested that she would place in future 
a little more confidence in him, otherwise he would be disposed 
to withdraw his favour. This she promised to do, and begged 
he would take Lewie, Henry Granville's son, under his care, 
which was agreed to. 

* Most of the Chiefs took their departure, and left us in that 
quiet, for which, during the last week, we have ardently sighed. 
You can have little idea of the noise and confusion which 
attend such a business ; and had we acted as is usual on such 
occasions, by broaching a cask of rum, and allowing it to flow 
liberally, it would have been much worse. There was only 
wine used on this occasion, and with all our care and economy 
it cost us at least fifteen dozen. A gallon of wine goes as 
far in drams as a gallon of rum, and scarce costs as much, 
while by the substitution the evil of drunkenness is avoided. 

* I think it necessary to do Mr. Tilley and Mr. Renaud the 
justice to say that they have exerted themselves with zeal on 
this occasion. Their counsel has proved salutary during every 
stage of the palaver. I pretend not to discover their motives 
for this unexpected conduct, but such is the fact. 

* Having now brought this palaver to a conclusion, it is neces- 
sary to mention some intermediate transactions, little inferior 
in importance. 

* A schooner of Mr. Horrocks arrived from the Isles de Los 
with the remainder of the rum I purchased there. On the 
morning of the 31st of July, some of the Settlers came to me 
bringing five natives, slaves of Mr. Horrocks, whom they 
wished to put under my protection. They had escaped from 
the schooner, and had been encouraged to stay here by an 
assurance of support from the Settlers. I was exceedingly 
chagrined by this incident, and advised the slaves to return to 
their duty. They left me apparently satisfied with what I had 
said, and I was in hopes that the affair would have ended here. 


But the captain of the schooner ere long came ashore, and lodged 
a complaint that five people had been enticed from the ship. We 
were so involved in the palaver with the natives at the time 
that we could not bestow on this business the attention it 
merited, but we sent without delay for the Hundreders, and 
demanded to know the cause of the present conduct of the 
Settlers. They pleaded their having acted in strict conformity 
with a proclamation issued by Governor Clarkson, at the first 
foundation of the Colony, purporting that the moment a man 
set his foot on the Company's District, he became from that 
moment free. We could scarce give credit to their assurances 
that Clarkson had made so rash and unnecessary a proclama- 
tion till it was confirmed to us by Watt and Gray. We then 
endeavoured to convince them that though Clarkson was a man 
zealously afiected in a good cause, yet in this instance he had 
exceeded his knowledge, for he had made a proclamation 
which flew directly in the face of British Acts of Parliament. 
We showed them that British subjects had a right to buy and 
to hold slaves ; that British laws gave a right to buy slaves, and 
regarded them in the sacred light of property ; that the very 
Act which incorporated the Sierra Leone Company^ had 
directly and explicitly prohibited them from injuring the rights 
of any British subject trading to Africa. All men had a right 
to be protected in the Settlement from all personal injury, but 
we had no more power to detain a slave than we had to detain 
a bale of goods. We supported our positions by different 
passages from Blackstone, and showed them the Acts of Parlia- 
ment They were at last convinced of the illegality of the 
business. We then endeavoured to convince them of the 
impolicy of such proceedings ; as, in case they were continued, 
there would only be left to them a choice of evils. The 
traders, whose influence over the natives was very great, would 
not tamely submit to lose their property. Every trader, every 
Chief would take the alarm, and anticipate from such a conduct 
the total loss of his property. They would be in a state of war 
with all around them; if their canoes ventured beyond the 
Settlement, they would be immediately picked up and the 
people made captives or perhaps slaves of, as we were apprehen- 

^ When Macaulay's journal reached England, and this portion of it was communi- 
cated by Mr. Henry Thornton to the Directors, for the further elucidation of the 
public despatches, it becomes evident from the marginal annotations that they perused 
this episode, and Macaulay's reflections upon it, with very conflicting feelings. 
Macanlay had also sent a note for their more special guidance, in which he remarks : 
* The Company's declaration says that they will suffer no one to be ill-treated on their 
ground, nor to be seized and carried into slavery. But it would appear that the 
master who is deprived of his property is the man who is ill-treated, and that, though 
no one under the Company's protection is to be reduced to slavery, yet no emancipat- 
ing power is given to their Colonists or their government.' 


sive Horrocks might do on the present occasion. And where 
were they to look for redress? The British Government would 
not be disposed to support them in flagrantly violating their 
own Acts. The Company would of course abandon them,^ for 
a state of warfare would not suit with their principles. Thus 
left to themselves, they would fall, as the former Settlers had 
done, a prey to Slave-traders and to internal discord. They 
appeared fully convinced of their indiscretion, and agreed that 
the captain should not be prevented in endeavouring to bring 
the people back to their duty. The captain attempted to per- 
suade them back, but it proved all in vain. The Settlers had 
furnished them with arms, and they expressed their determina- 
tion to die before they would return. 

* We wrote to Mr. Horrocks on the occasion, expressing our 
regret at the circumstance which had happened, and our inclina- 
tion to close with any reasonable proposition he might make 
on the subject. It will prove, I fear, a troublesome affair, as 
Horrocks's influence is considerable with the natives to the 

* These men were not slaves liable to be sold at the will of 
their master. They were Grumettas, belonging to the island, 
bound indeed to labour for the proprietors of it, but placed 
beyond the reach of the Slave-trader. Understanding by 
some means that if they came to Freetown they would be pro- 
tected, employed, and paid for their labour, they resolved to 
quit a situation where they earned nothing but their clothes 
and victuals. This seems to have been their chief motive, as 
they have nothing to allege against Mr. Horrocks on the score 
of inhumanity ; and as the same motive may offer itself to 
every Grumetta on the coast, those working for Cleveland, 
Bance Island, or any others, I tremble at the consequences 
which may flow from this incident. 

* During the palaver I carried some of the Chiefs to our 
schools, and they were much gratified by the sight. Mr. 
Smart, who has a very large town on the Rokell, began to enter 
into treaty with one of the Methodist preachers to go up to his 
place and instruct his youth. 

'August 6. — A Chief, Prince George, visited us. He had 
been over to the Bui lorn shore, and was much struck with the 
cordiality between Watt and the natives, and the respect with 
which they treated him. One observation of the Bullomites is 
worth mentioning : 

^ An energetic * No * is here written on the margin by the hand of some Director, 
whose indignation was excited by the idea of the fugitives being given up. Macaalay 
shared the ordinary fate of an executive officer whose enthusiasm is tempered by the 
immediate necessity of the situation. 


* " Had not Mr. Watt been a good man, he would never have 
trusted himself among strangers, unarmed and unattended. 
We will trust him. He is a good man, and we will believe 
him." They begin to have some notion of that kind of courage 
which proceeds from trust in God. 

' August 8. — Renaud came down to induce me to make the 
purchase for him of a schooner Captain Hewitt of the Mercury 
had brought with him from Bance Island. He painted his 
distresses in strong colours, and agreed to enter into an agree- 
ment that he would not employ her in the Slave Trade. 

*We also agreed with an American vessel which arrived 
here a few days ago for the whole cargo, consisting of rum, 
tobacco, a little beef, a few casks of flour and boxes of candles. 
We were chiefly induced to this purchase by our present want 
of almost all goods for trade. Without such a supply of rum 
we must shortly starve. There is half a ton of rice consumed 
in the Colony every day ; and for the purchase of a ton of 
rice about twenty gallons of rum are wanted, and even forty 
gallons in the rice seasons in the Sherbro and on the Bullom 

^August 9. — The Court of Sessions^ was held by Winter- 
bottom and myself. In general the causes are of a trifling 
nature, slanderous words, small debts, and assault and battery, 
but our jurors are so extremely cautious in giving in a verdict 
that an hour is usually employed in making up their minds. 

* When the business was over I acquainted the jury and the 
people who were collected, that, in compliance with the wishes 
of many of them, we had passed a bye-law to punish slanderous 
words. I took occasion at the same time to open to them that 
part of our law-book which respects Scandalum Magnatum, or 
the using false and malicious words tending to vilify Governors, 
and thereby sowing discord between them and the people, 
which they listened to with attention. I also expatiated on 
the late incident of the desertion of Horrocks's slaves, and 
showed them the illegality and impolicy of encouraging such 
desertions, which they appeared sensible of. 

* August 18. — About ten o'clock last night a canoe arrived 
from Bance Island to acquaint us that Renaud had taken a 
Liverpool slave-ship, commanded by a Captain Stowel, on her 
way down the river from Bance Island. Tilley expressed a 
wish that we would join our forces to his in order to extirpate 
Renaud and his people. We asked time to make up our minds 
on that proposition. 

* August 19. — The captain and crew of the above vessel were 
sent down here by Renaud. They talked highly of their treat- 

' A Court of Sessions was held every three months. 


ment. Renaud had not only given up to them all their wearing 
apparel, but had made them presents to console them under 
their losses. 

'Apprehensive of the interpretation that might be put on 
our conduct in having given a vessel to Renaud, as he had 
thought fit to take a prize in the river, we despatched Strand 
to demand the restitution of the schooner, which was im- 
mediately given up. Renaud appeared very anxious we 
should maintain a neutrality. As for Bance Island, he set 
them at defiance, and even threatened to destroy them. 

^ August 20. — Tilley pressed on us the policy of uniting for 
Renaud's destruction. We gave him a number of reasons for 
declining hostile measures, among the rest that wc should 
forfeit every advantage we might expect to derive from the 
amicable intentions of the French Government ; and that we 
did not wish to risk the ruin of our infant establishment, or 
expose ourselves to bear the consequences which our respon- 
sible situation would bring on us in case our conduct should be 
disapproved of. 

^August 25, 1793. — Home preached in the forenoon on justi- 
fication by faith, which he qualified in the afternoon by a 
discourse on regeneration. 

^August 26. — Mr. Jackson, the partner of Horrocks at the 
Isles de Los, came here. Their deserters were called up for 
examination, and denied having been enticed by the people of 
this place. They said their reason for deserting was because 
they understood that Horrocks, before quitting the Isles de 
Los, which he intends shortly to do, meant to trepan them on 
board a ship and sell them, and that there was even now an 
American vessel at the Isles de Los, which they were assured 
was destined to carry them off;^ and because the captain of 
the vessel in which they came down to this river had used 
them very ill, beating them without mercy, and kicking them 
about the decks. They said they had no fault to find with 
Horrocks or Jackson, but that of their own free suggestions 
they had effected their escape to avoid slavery and the ill- 
treatment of the captain with whom they were at the time. 

'Jackson intimated to us that he would expect five hundred 
guineas from us as an indemnification. We told him that we 
thought if a loss had been sustained by them it ought to be 
refunded, but that they were sensible that we had used every 
art of persuasion to prevent the desertion of their slaves ; and 
that, however disposed we might be to incur a trifling expense 
for the sake of preserving our present good understanding with 
our neighbours, yet we could not allow that there was any 
^ Macaulay writes on October i : — * I believe this to have been the case.' 


legal claim on us as the Sierra Leone Company's representa- 
tives. Besides, the affairs of the Isles de Los concern, we 
hinted, were in such confusion from the insolvency of its pro- 
prietors that it would be unsafe to satisfy any demand on their 
part until their right to make the demand and to exonerate 
the payer from all further claims were clearly proved. It is 
likely, I think, that this matter will go home, in which case it 
appears to me that all they can prove against us is refusing to 
compel these men to return. They will also find it difficult to 
prove their property. I know not how far a claim to personal 
services can be entered in an English Court of Judicature 
without a written or witnessed agreement, unless they make an 
exception in favour of Slave-dealers. 

•The worst consequences will be in this country, where it 
will have the effect of alienating from us the goodwill of all our 
neighbours. And how to avoid the dilemma I know not. By 
an exertion of authority we might perhaps effect the forcible 
restitution of these people to Messrs. Horrocks & Co., but in 
doing so we should act a most barbarous part. It would be 
delivering up men to a certainty of punishment, slavery, and 
transportation, whose only crime is an attempt to regain their 
liberty, or rather to avoid being forced into slavery. 

•The effects of the rains have been felt at Bance Island, 
where, of the Europeans, about a third have died. Two or 
three tradesmen brought out for them in the African Queen 
have died also. I sometimes think with wonder on the number 
of young men who yearly come out from England and Scot- 
land to such places as Bance Island without exciting any 
animadversion ; while the few, who are found willing to en- 
counter the less hostile situation of Freetown, are branded as 
madmen, as provoking their fate, and as justly incurring every 
evil they can meet with. Nor does it less excite my wonder 
that while men are fearlessly pouring in to supply the place of 
those traders who have fallen victims to the climate, persons 
can with difficulty be found to maintain a succession of Chap- 
lains at Sierra Leone, or to engage in the business of instructing 
the natives, which, compared with the business of trading, is a 
safe and easy and healthy occupation. So true is it that the 
children of this world are wiser in their generation than the 
children of light. Home has already put pen to paper on the 
subject of Missions in general ; and he means on going home 
to excite if possible the sleeping activity of his brethren in the 
ministry. He will have a right to talk of the practicability of 
African Missions. 

^August 31. — A craft from the Bananas called here, the 
master of which informed me that Mr. Cleveland, pressed by 


ifs n^sinirs. isxz ::iil^.::z^ z:^ perrcib:. ssi gc oe dcyvn to the 
Saerbr: ^jri i:r jir^smnr :t zrra.'mr -^ tbe t3vns of such as 
i«wBd nrrr miof - A lir. Irsis::!. -win; 2$ rrvn^ra to Mr, Gran- 
T-iLe Siarr .s Ilrf ":.imi f ri : ,:-:e tt .TiirCg g, He goes to Ei^land 
sbiri-j yTfcfr: I ^.? r:n:r-v-» r: rmir r'^ fn yaor way. I am 
ii cT-zr bices fnc: lie scir-Ji I ssr nanfistiC tiiat Cleveland 
Trill zxsz TTJiJr -r.r:mi^ :co:?=;'ri-g. zz. ire Sbabfo^ and perhaps 
be djixccccrttd :c Us a — . 

- Srrz^^.'z^r z. — I vsrt 1.7 n TLy^rda lilsixr to settle accounts 
with k.*r:^.rt±. H* n^fe :2« lbs f:<_cwi=:g^ pca p osaL That, as 
be rneart tc ibiijf re Gamb^ii ir sx weeks, we might, if we 
cl'sased, sczfZ szc=fi rce t3 tiie cossessaoa immediately; and 

~ iiy ^Z'zli be appointed on 

ChJeSc ar>i with their consent, 
^ islsjid to Mr. Dawes, and that 
e Eslani w^uld be at the same 
time gratziiccsly \"S*Iiec tc =s. 

* Re^.ard has pi£i the crice cf rwiejnption for all the free 
people sold by Cacrarrs XewcDme tD Ranee Island, and he will 
foom have the satisfartica of restoring them to their friends. 
He means to reside at Gorec, to relir.qcish the Slave Trade, and 
to employ himself in trading with FreetowxL 

* The man who was conricted of robbing the store,^ having 
received the last portion cf corporal punishment, was rescued 
as the Marshal - was carn-ing him on board the Verk for the 
completion of his sentence. The principal in the rescue took the 
prisoner to his own house, and arming himself, vowed the death 
of any one who dared to approach him« As we were averse to 
take any step which might lead to violence, we only put a guard 
of four constables on his house, who were regularly relieved. 
In about twenty-four hours they found themselves obliged to 
surrender at mercy, having neither provisions nor water in the 
house. The convict was sent to the Vori^ and the man who 
rescued him found bail to appear at next court Had such a 
thing happened three months ago we should have been treated 
with contempt On the present occasion no one interfered^ and 
the constables were permitted quietly to do their duty. A 
word that respected personal liberty would have been apt at 
that time to set them all in a flame, but at present they can 
hear with patience of the forfeiture of liberty which necessarily 
follows great crimes/ 

* Th<' iicntence was one hundred lashes and twelve months' imprisonment on board 
I hi! ('orn{iany'ft store ship the VorJ^, which remained permanently in the harbour of 
Frrctown. The man was an old offender and of very mfamous character. 

' The MarKhaLs were two in number. Their chief duties were to execute warrants 
und carry out the sentences of the Court of Sessions. 


* September 8. — Home preached in the forenoon to a very 
large audience on the duty of servants under the yoke, from 
St Paul's epistle to Philemon, which he applied to the present 
circumstances of the Colony, showing how inconsonant to the 
dictates of policy, justice, and Christianity were the late trans- 
actions with respect to slaves. 

* September 1 1. — We were under the necessity of applying to 
Bance Island for rice, and received three and a half tons, 
which may with some care serve the Colony for ten days. 
Our situation is really a most unpleasant one, living in a state 
of continual uncertainty whether in a few days' time we shall 
have wherewith to still the cravings of hunger, and in a 
continual dependence on the direction and force of the winds 
and the violence of the rains for our daily bread. In the 
month of February last, had I been able to foresee that no 
supply of flour would, have arrived from England before this 
time, I should scarce have had courage to remain at Sierra 
Leone. But God, who sees not as we see, has been indeed 
gracious to us, and will, I trust, convert the wants with which 
we have been afflicted into means of lasting good to the 
Colony by calling forth latent exertion, and by producing a 
general disposition to resignation and contentment. 

* September 12. — I went up to Gambia Island to bring down 
the James J the vessel we bought there, and met at Renaud's the 
Chief of Port Logo. He informed me that the views of the 
Foulah nation on the subject of the abolition of the Slave 
Trade coincided with ours, and proposed sending some of his 
children ^ to Freetown for instruction. 

' I long much to have a respectable factory of the Company 
established in the Rio Pongo, and to be more acquainted with 
the manners and history of this powerful and adventurous 
nation. The Chief seems very desirous indeed to have us 
established in Port Logo, as Tilley, he says, has used him 
cavalierly, and has acted as if he meant to dispute with him his 
right to his own river. This man is everywhere well spoken of. 
He has now with him two of the first Settlers, who have con- 
tinued to prefer living with him to returning to Sierra Leone, 
and at the time of their dispersion he afforded shelter to a 
great many. 

^September 15. — In the afternoon Home preached from 
St, John xiv. 16. His design was to expose the reigning folly 
of the Methodists of this place, their accounting dreams and 

^ Macaulay adds a note to impress upon Mr. Thornton the importance of securirg 
to the Company's schoolmasters the educational monopoly of this Chiefs family, 
and mentions gravely the fact that he had four sons and three daughters bom during 
the past month. 



visions as incontestable proofs of their acceptance with God, 
and of their being filled with the Holy Ghost. 

* September 17. — A Methodist preacher of the name of Beves- 
hout, a man of a restless turbulent spirit and immoderately 
fond of popularity, had been appointed Precentor in the church 
by Clarkson, with a view of silencing him, and destroying his 
influence. It was partly attended with the latter effect, as he 
began to be regarded as of the white party. Home's discourse 
on dreams was so unpalatable to many of the Methodists that 
Beveshout, anxious to regain his popularity, judged it a proper 
occasion to strike a decisive stroke. In his sermon on this 
night he warmly reprobated Home's doctrine as the doctrine 
of Satan, and endeavoured to restore to dreams and visions 
their ascendency over the Word of God. He likewise inveighed 
against the Government here, pointedly comparing Mr. Dawes 
to Pharaoh, whom the just judgment of God would sooner or 
later overtake ; recommending to his hearers, however, patience 
under their sufferings, as God in His own good time would 
deliver Israel. 

* Home, on hearing what had passed, rather hastily charged 
Beveshout with improper designs. Beveshout defended himself 
and the liberty of the pulpit, which, being a favourite cause 
with the Methodists, gave him a great advantage. We dis- 
suaded Home from taking any further notice of it, as it was 
only requisite that men's minds should be allowed to cool, in 
order to see where truth lay. Inflammatory speeches lose all 
their effect when treated with silent indifference. 

' Perhaps it might be well if Dr. Coke, or some delegate from 
him, were to visit Freetown, in order to establish some kind of 
discipline among the Methodists ; for at present their govern- 
ment is a pure democracy, without subordination to any one. 
I think this a point of great importance to the religious progress 
of your Colony, and well deserving your attention.' 

Dr. Coke, a priest of the Church of England, had joined the 
Methodists, and been formally appointed by John Wesley Super- 
intendent to discharge Episcopal functions in the American 
and other Foreign Methodist Societies. In 1787 Dr. Coke 
induced the American Conference to alter his title from Super- 
intendent to that of Bishop. For this he was severely repri- 
manded by Wesley, who wrote, * Men may call me a knave, or 
a fool, a rascal, a scoundrel, and I am content ; but they shall 
never with my consent call me bishop.' This rebuke had, 
however, no effect; Dr. Coke continued to use the title, and 
there exists a letter addressed to Washington signed by Coke 


as Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 18 13 Dr. 
Coke was desirous of again joining the Church of England, and 
applied to Lord Liverpool to be appointed to a bishopric in 
India, offering * to return most fully into the bosom of the 
Established Church.' His application was refused. He set 
sail, however, for India, and died on the voyage early in 18 14. 

Wilberforce gives an amusing account of meeting Dr. Coke, 
and of the disillusion resulting from seeing him personally, 
compared with the great reputation which he enjoyed. * I wish 
I could forget his little round face and short figure. Any one 
who wished to take off a Methodist could not have done better 
than exactly copy his manner and appearance. He looked a 
mere boy when he was turned fifty, with such a smooth apple 
face, and little round mouth, that, if it had been forgotten, you 
might have made as good a one by thrusting in your thumb. 
He was waiting once to see me in a room into which some 
accident brought Bankes. The Doctor made, I suppose, some 
strange demonstration, for he sent Bankes to Milner's room, 
saying in amazement, " What extraordinary people Wilberforce 
does get around him ! " ' 

Dr. Coke's position as Superintendent of the Foreign Metho- 
dist Missions rendered the expectation that he might be induced 
to undertake an expedition to West Africa not an unreasonable 
one under the special circumstances of the infant Colony. 

Sept 18. — ' I received the following intelligence from a native 

of more than ordinary information. Since the establishment of 

our Colony the treatment of slaves is very much ameliorated. 

With respect to the desertion of slaves, the law of the country 

is that as soon as a slave escapes from his master's town, and 

takes refuge in another, he cannot be recovered by his master 

without a price being paid for his redemption, as he becomes 

immediately the property of him in whose town he takes 

refuge. Should this be actually the case, which I begin to 

suspect, it will make our way very much smoother ; as, if a 

slave on taking refuge here becomes our property, we surely 

liave a right to emancipate him. This law has been most 

industriously concealed from us hitherto by whites and natives; 

3.nd the very contradictory accounts we receive on every other 

3ubject make me hesitate in trusting entirely to the informa- 

'tion given us on this one. I shall endeavour, however, to come 

3-t the truth. 

' September 20. — We received the news of Horrocks's death. 


His partner Jackson continues in charge, but I believe he 
means soon to quit the Isles de Los. Almost all their people 
had deserted from them in consequence of the desertion of the 
Grumettas here having induced Horrocks and Jackson to sell 
off their people as fast as they could, at which they had taken 
alarm and left them. 

* September 23. — An American vessel from Boston arrived, 
the supercargo of which offered us his cargo for slaves, observ- 
ing he could take nothing else, and that he hoped we should 
be able to despatch him in a few days. Having declined to 
deal with him, I began to inquire how the law stood in America 
relative to the Slave Trade. He told me that all the States 
had now abolished it, and that if it was proved that an 
American vessel had carried slaves, she became a forfeit, and 
the captain was fined a thousand pounds, and confined till the 
money was paid. I asked him how he expected to escape the 
penalty. " Oh," says he, " I don't mind that Nobody will 
inform." "Indeed, sir," I replied, "you are mistaken, for if 
nobody else will, I certainly shall." " Sure you would not 
treat me in so unfriendly a manner ! " " Sir," I said, " I think 
it is better to prevent evil than to punish it ; and I give you 
my word that, if you venture to carry a single slave from this 
coast, I shall turn informer myself I give you fair warning." 
This speech made him change his note instantly, and with the 
most shameless effrontery he expressed his abhorrence of the 
Slave Trade, and afl5rmed that what he had said was not 
seriously meant, and that he would on no account dispose of 
his cargo for anything but bills. This incident I think a very 
important one, as it proves the possibility of stopping the Slave 
Trade entirely, the Americans being at present the only people 
who venture to visit this coast. And, as it is certainly better 
in all cases to prevent evil than to punish it, we judged it 
necessary to give notice to the different Slave-traders around 
us that we should certainly give information to the American 
Government of every American vessel which should carry 
slaves. But I think the matter might be carried still further, 
and that information might be transmitted to the Federal 
Court, which I find tries causes of this nature, of all American 
vessels during the last twelve months employed to our know- 
ledge in carrying slaves off the coast. The advantages which 
must result from this measure strike me very strongly. I have 
therefore been at considerable pains to collect intelligence, and 
now send you, along with this, a list of vessels which appear to 
me to have incurred the penalty, accompanied by circumstances 
which may lead to their detection. You will be the best judge 
what further steps to take. 


* A schooner came from the Isles de Los with the intelligence 
that an American vessel, the Pearly had been cut off by the 
slaves off the island of Matacong, and Captain Howard, who 
commanded her, killed ; but that she had been retaken by a 
vessel belonging to the Isles de Los, and Mr. Jackson wished 
to know whether we did not think her a fair prize. Howard, 
who commanded her, is the man who was prosecuted at, I 
believe, Mr. Wilberforce's instance, for some cruelties com- 
mitted at Calabar. At least a prosecution was commenced, 
and Howard, not appearing, was outlawed. He sailed at the 
same time in a Liverpool vessel. 

* Understanding afterwards that some of the slaves had been 
killed when the vessel was retaken, and that the Isles de Los 
schooner did not return immediately, with Mr. Dawes's approba- 
tion I wrote to Jackson a letter which I now enclose you. My 
chief view in writing it was, if possible, to put a bar to the 
slaves being sent off the coast, and that I might not have after- 
wards to reproach myself with not having said everything in 
their favour that it was possible to say. 

* The intention of the slaves seems to me evidently to have 
been to get to this Settlement. When the vessel was taken 
possession of by them, she was not above eight or nine leagues 
from this Cape. I should have been well pleased had they 
effected their purpose, as the greatness of the loss would 
necessarily have led to investigation, and the slaves in the 
meantime could be fairly claimed by no individual. The 
American Government would I think be the last to demand 
their restitution. 

* Several of the native Chiefs came to renew their application 
for rum. Their perseverance is astonishing. By way of forcing 
us from our ground, Pa London observed that if we would not 
give him rum he would carry his brother to Bance Island in 
pawn. However this had no effect, and Mr. Dawes continued 
resolute, without changing his usual kind deportment. They 
were visibly chagrined, but partook of our dinner with tolerable 
humour. When the Cry for Pa Cumba is over. Pa Kokilly 
will be crowned King of Sierra Leone by the name of King 

*By leaving things to their own course the tide has now 
turned against Beveshout. He has been endeavouring to 
atone for his improper conduct since he has observed its ill 
success. Home, by avoiding personality, and by entreating his 
hearers to weigh everything in Scripture scales, has effectually 
opened their eyes, and they begin to apologise for having injured 
him even in thought. 

' October 3. — Some Methodist Preachers returned this morning 


from Granville Town,^ greatly rejoicing in the work which God 
was carrying on there, and saying that many had proved 
obedient to the heavenly calling. On inquiry I found that 
the wildest extravagances had been committed there. Although 
I trust that in God's hands any instrument may be useful, yet I 
have my fears that evil may follow this violent spirit, excited 
chiefly by Beveshout. Granville Town is already torn by 
domestic dissensions. It were much to be wished that some 
sober-minded and authorised Methodist preacher came out 
who might introduce more discipline and regularity among 
that sect, and correct the extravagant ebullitions of their spirit. 

''October 15. — On the 8th I was seized with fever, and pre- 
vented doing any business since that day. Mr. Dawes had 
been taken ill two days before. We are both recovering, 
though still very weak and unable to write or think much. I 
understand there are only four Europeans left alive at Bance 

'October 30. — Strand died in the course of last night of fever, 
much lamented. 

*Mr. Jones* was introduced by Mr. Dawes to the Preachers. 
An unfortunate expression of his roused David George's' 
attention, and I was apprehensive that they would be involved 
in a dispute about general and particular redemption, but 
Mr. Jones very prudently avoided it by some qualifying 

' Now that flour has arrived in the Colony, an order has been 
given to pay off" the back rations. Some months ago Mr. 
Dawes had settled with the Settlers the accounts of back 
rations, and given them all memorandums of the number due ; 
but now many of them pretended that these memorandums 
were lost, and brought in an account of back rations due to 
them to a much greater amount than was really due. As the 
intention was so palpably to impose, Mr. Dawes absolutely 
refused to pay a single pound of flour unless the memorandums 
were produced. On this they thought proper to produce them. 

* I mention this circumstance as an evidence of the disposi- 
tion of many of the Settlers, and these by no means of the 
people from whom such conduct might have been expected, 
but of those from whom we expected better things. One man, 
Luke Jordan, whom we had esteemed as a deserving character, 
assured us that the rats had actually destroyed the paper, and 

^ The name given to the place, two miles from Sierra Leone, where Falconbridge 
settled the original Colonists who had been driven from the Settlement. 

' The Rev. Mr. Jones had just arrived in the Colony as successor in the chaplaincy 
to Mr. Home. 

' A black Preacher, the principal minister of the Baptists, 


presented at the same time a demand for double the quantity 
due to his company. However, he found means next day to 
recover the paper from the rats, and brought it to Mr. Dawes. 

'An information was lodged against Captain Davis,^ the 
burden of which was to show that Davis had purchased two 
boys while down to leeward, and that they were now in his 

^Sundayy November 3. — Jones made his first public appear- 
ance to-day, and spoke from these words, "though he was 
rich, yet for our sakes he became poor." I was glad to see 
throughout the whole congregation evident marks of lively 
satisfaction. He wants, no doubt, Home's richness of thought 
and his copiousness of expression, as well as his fire, but 
there is more of the appearance of devotedness in him, and 
his address is more uniformly serious, and in general more 

* You will see by the resolutions of Council what our pro- 
ceedings were with respect to Davis. His prevarications, and 
above all his industrious concealment of the circumstances of 
the purchase from us, will, I hope, justify the measures we have 

*The Union^ of Salem in America, carried off about two 
weeks ago some free people from the Rio Nunez, with whom 
she has taken her departure for the West Indies. 

^November 15. — I went to the Bullom shore to see Watt, and 
walked with him over the lands granted to the Company, which 
are indeed excellent. On our return to Freetown, I met with a 
man of the name of Robin Rufoy who has a petty town up the 
river, and from him I got the following information. On slaves 
effecting their escape from their master, they no longer con- 
tinue his property, but may be kept by him to whose town 
they escape. 

^November 30, 1793. — The transactions of this day I must 
communicate to you with no small regret, for it was marked by 
the most signal calamity that has yet befallen your Colony. 
Between nine and ten in the morning we were alarmed by the 
cry of fire, and on looking out beheld the York in a blaze. 
Before eleven o'clock the fire had completely ransacked her 
hold, and the loss is very great indeed. Upwards of four 
thousand pounds worth of African produce has been destroyed. 

* Captain Telford had come on shore to settle his monthly 
accounts. The fire began in the chimney of the galley, and all 
those on deck, who were mostly Grumettas, got into the boat 
without wasting a thought on those who were in the cabin and 
gunroom. The bustle on deck, however, alarmed Captain 

' Captain of one of the trading vessels belonging to the Sierra Leone Company. 


Wallace who was in the cabin, and the gentlemen in the gun- 
room who were arranging some of the trade goods. They ran 
up, and found to their astonishment the fire blazing over their 
heads, having run along the tarred awning from stem to stem, 
and everybody gone over the side. After trying in vain to 
prevail on the people in the boat to assist them, they were at 
length forced to descend to avoid being scorched to death. 
While this passed on board Captain Telford had got into a 
boat, a number of Settlers accompanying him, with a view of 
extinguishing the fire. But the people absolutely refused to 
pull him alongside, pretending fear of gunpowder. He assured 
them there was no gunpowder on board, entreated, prayed, and 
threatened in turn, but all to no purpose, and he had the mortifi- 
cation to be forced to be an inactive spectator of the conflagra- 
tion. You will ask what did Captain Devereux and his crew 
all this time. It is certain no exertion was made by the Harpy s 
people, although the fire was perceived in its early stage. Every- 
thing was done which could be done, unassisted as Telford 
was except by Day, and Rowe the mate of the York. 

*The Settlers, it would naturally be supposed, felt great 
concern, and exerted themselves on behalf of their benefactors. 
Many of them did so, but at the same time there were many 
who acted very differently. Some were rejoicing in the calamity 
as a just judgment of heaven on their oppressors. Some said 
it was but right that the goods, withheld unjustly from them by 
the Governor and Council, should be destroyed, and that their 
sinister aims should thus be frustrated. They declared the York 
to be the repository where Mr. Dawes's gains and mine were 
stored ; and others, more daring, scrupled not to attempt con- 
verting to their own use what could be saved from the wreck. 

*Some of the more respectable Settlers, ashamed of these 
proceedings, offered themselves as a guard, and have promised 
to furnish a list of those who were guilty of any improprieties, 
with a list of witnesses, so that they may be prosecuted. They 
have even promised to mark out such as seemed to rejoice in 
the misfortune, and such as by their insinuations would have 
vilified Mr. Dawes's character or mine. 

*It has been indeed a sweeping fire, there is not the vestige of 
an account left. I had been at considerable pains in arranging 
the commercial accounts, but they perished in the general con- 

* Captain Devereux being unfortunately of a very unaccom- 
modating disposition, and having on the present occasion 
treated the sufferers, who expected an asylum on board the 
Harpy, very cavalierly, their distress was of course enhanced. 
We made room, however, for some of them at our house, and 


for the others the James, the vessel we had fortunately bought 
from Renaud some time ago, was ordered to be fitted up. 

' A fire happened in town to-day, and rather singularly the 
sufferers were almost all of the number who rejoiced in the 
York^s destruction. No man who had a spark of humanity in 
him could rejoice in their loss, but I confess I could not help 
feeling less grieved at its falling on those who had shown such a 
total want of charity, than if it had affected people of a different 
character. I overheard some people at the time reminding 
them of the expressions they had made use of a few days before, 
averring the burning of the York to be a judgment of God. 

^December 10. — We determined on sending the Lapwing to 
England with all speed, and for getting Devereux if possible to 
carry her home. Much to our satisfaction he gave his assent to 
the measure, and we shall thus, I trust, part without coming to 
any rupture; an event the violence of his temper gave me 
scarce room to hope for. 

'Tilley thought proper to take offence at our declining to 
assist him against Renaud, and has since that time been very 
distant in his civilities. We sent him lately a few articles of 
provision which came out of the Harpy, and intimated at the 
same time our wish to supply him with any other articles of the 
same kind he might want. The following is a part of his reply. 
" I cannot doubt but any application I may make to Mr. Dawes 
or yourself will be attended to, when I am so fully convinced of 
your friendship towards me by the part you have taken in 
endeavouring to prevent the American, now at Sierra Leone, 
from doing business with me for slaves. You may perhaps 
suppose the emoluments arising from informations given of 
Americans carrying off slaves, will be an advantageous business; 
but I think it is most probable it will not. I should be ex- 
ceedingly sorry that anything should happen to cause a differ- 
ence with this settlement and your Colony. It never shall arise 
from any proceedings on my part, but when I see it is the 
intention of any body to distress us by interfering in my trade, 
I think it high time to look about me." 

* The above exhibits no small chagrin and disappointment, 
but Bance Island is no longer an object of terror to your 
Colony ; and although it is unpleasant to be at variance with 
any one, yet when such variance arises from the faithful dis- 
charge of an important duty, it causes less uneasiness than it 
otherwise would do. It will be gaining much to the cause of 
humanity to exclude the Americans entirely from all participa- 
tion in the Slave Trade.' 




On New Year's Day 1794 all the English officials in Sienra 
Leone assembled at the invitation of the Governor, and 
Macaulay notes in his private diary that they were twenty- 
two at dinner, the only absentee being Mr. Garvin, the school- 
master. Notwithstanding many drawbacks, the prospects of 
the Colony continued steadily to improve, and their trade 
began to increase rapidly. The principal difficulties which 
occurred during the early months of the year were caused 
by the incessant applications of the native Chiefs to be per- 
mitted to purchase rum. The Court of Directors had recently 
despatched a strong prohibition of the sale of rum by their 
representatives, and the Governor and Macaulay were exposed 
to much ill-will and some personal danger in carrying out these 
orders as far as possible. In a few instances they were com- 
pelled to give way, and permit the exchange of casks of rum 
for necessaries of life of which the Colonists stood in absolute 
need, and which they could obtain for the moment on no other 
conditions. But as a rule they remained firm, and faced the 
bitter offence which their refusals gave to their neighbours. 
There was one droll episode when a great Chief complained 
that the cask of rum which he had received had been watered, 
and detained as a hostage the captain of the vessel in the 
Company's service who had delivered it to him. The matter 
became so threatening that Macaulay went in person to inves- 
tigate the charge, which proved to be true, and he had the 
mortification to find that the captain himself had been the 

Mr. Dawes's health had suffered so severely from the climate 
that he had for some time contemplated the possible necessity 
of a sudden return to England, and in view of this contingency 
the Court of Directors had named Macaulay as his successor. 


A serious attack of illness finally compelled Mr. Dawes to 
leave Sierra Leone at the end of March in the Harpy^ and 
Macaulay, at the age of twenty-six, became Governor of the 

He appears to have been singularly qualified by nature, and 
by the good influences under which he had lately been brought, 
for the position he was now called upon to fill. The patience 
and self-control, the exercise of which he looked upon as a 
duty, were invaluable in the midst of the inflammable and 
unreliable spirits with which he was surrounded. The success 
that attended upon his dealings with the superstition and 
unbelief with which he came constantly in contact, among the 
natives and the miscellaneous European population collected 
on the coasts, lay in a great measure in the fact that his own 
mind was assailed by no doubts. It will be observed that on 
all occasions when he was called upon to speak upon religious 
subjects he did so with simplicity and absolute assurance ; and 
although he was unflinching in his support of the truth, and 
refused to admit any compromise as to moral rectitude, still he 
never displayed the slightest irritation with those whose belief 
and practice differed from the standard which he upheld. His 
own faith was unwavering. He had the habitual sense of 
living in the presence of God, and the Scriptures were the light 
to which he turned daily for instruction and guidance in his 
path through the world. 

The anxieties of the position in which Macaulay found 
himself placed were largely increased by the formidable pro- 
portions which the spirit of disaffection among the Settlers now 
began to assume. Many of these negroes had been eager to 
join the Colony from the belief they entertained that it would 
prove to be in the fullest sense the Province of Freedom, which 
its benevolent founder, Granville Sharp, delighted to call it. 
Their disappointment had consequently been severe when, 
instead of the life of license and semi-barbarism which they 
had hoped to lead, they found themselves subjected to the 
laws and restraints of a civilised community. They were dis- 
gusted by the continuous industry required of them as indis- 
pensable for the maintenance of their families, and their jealousy 
was also strongly excited against the European servants of the 
Company, whom they ignorantly believed to be largely enriching 


themselves at the expense of the Settlers, and thus depriving 
them of the benefits intended for them by their friends in Eng- 
land An insurrection broke out, which was promptly auelled 
by decisive action on the part of the Governor and his associates. 
The ringleaders were arrested and sent off to England for trial ; 
while, with a forbearance that under the circumstances showed 
no little courage, Macaulay granted an entire amnesty to the 
rest of the offenders. 

It was fortunate both for the white and the black members 
of the Colony that there was time for order and some degree of 
confidence to be restored before the occurrence of the disastrous 
events which foreign invasion brought upon them in the autumn 
of the same year. The Company's office had been plundered 
by the rioters, and many of the papers destroyed, so that the 
private journal Macaulay kept for the Chairman does not com- 
mence till the month of July. 

*" July 23, 1794. — Two blacks escaped from a slave vessel, an 
American schooner commanded by one Newell, and complained 
of very harsh treatment. As Newell was away there was no 
opportunity of knowing the truth. 

* Moses Wilkinson ^ and one of his colleagues, Stephen 
Peters,* came to ask my opinion and advice on the subject 
of the division that had taken place among the Methodists, 
and accused Mr. Jones and Garvin as the authofe of the dis- 
sension. Not thinking it right to miss an opportunity of 
telling the old man a little wholesome truth, I pointed out to 
him the serious faults in their conduct as a Christian society, 
which, as they did not choose to correct, it was impossible that 
sincere and pious Christians could continue with them. I men- 
tioned particularly the notoriously irreligious lives of some of 
their members, whom they had refused to censure ; the en- 
couragement given to discontent and rebellion ; their uniform 
opposition to the establishment among themselves of the dis- 
cipline required by the Methodist rules ; their no less uniform 
opposition, whenever an opportunity could be had, to the 
carrying the laws of the Colony into effect ; and their refusing 
to Mr. Jones all liberty of preaching among them without any 
reason being assigned but that he had called them, what in 
truth they were, a rotten society. The old man acknowledged 
the facts, and did not attempt to defend their propriety, but 
said he was overruled by the others. I was in hopes indeed 

1 The principal black preacher among the Wcsleyan Methodists. 
' A negro from Nova Scotia who had visited England. 


that something might have been done by what passed between 
us; but the whole effect of it was soon destroyed by the 
flatteries and deceptions of his associates, by whom, though I 
believe him to mean well, he is completely blinded and misled. 
He had candour enough to thank me for my frankness, and to 
beg a continuance of it. Peters applied to be again employed 
in the Company's service, which I refused, telling him plainly 
that I regarded him as one of the chief instigators of the dis- 
turbances. He entered on his defence, in which he said he had 
used all his influence to repress commotion, and that three or 
four days before the riots began, hearing Channel lay a plot 
for my life, he had tried to dissuade him from it. I asked him 
why he had not done his duty as a Christian and as an officer 
of the peace, by apprising me of it at the time, whereas he had, 
on the contrary, spoken loudly against the measures we took 
for our own preservation, and had denied all knowledge of any 
ill design being on foot. The conclusion that at least he 
favoured the design was unavoidable. To-day there was not 
a clerk in any of the offices, as all the Europeans were down 
with fever. 

* July 29. — I was again nearly restored to health from my 
attack of fever. The African Queen, Captain Williams, a slave- 
ship from Bristol, arrived to-day bound to Bance Island. We 
had by her newspapers down to June 20th, and were completely 
relieved by the defeat of the French fleet from all apprehension 
of a visit from any of their vessels. We got our printing-press 
set to work ; and Mr. Young, proving an expert printer, took 
charge of it. It promises to be extremely useful. 

* August 4. — The Amy sailed about noon, having received on 
board the despatches, which were very voluminous. They 
contain complete transcripts of all that had been sent by 
the Thomas and Ocean. In the Amy went seven Settlers as 

* Sunday, August 10. — I and my brother* went over on the 
5th to the Bullom shore, where I intended to remain a fort- 
night to recover my health and strength after the late fatigues ; 
but on the 8th a boat came to inform me that Mr. Jones and 
Garvin were laid up, and as there was no one to preach, I was 
unable to prolong my stay. The whites are all sickly, some 
recovering. I was obliged to preach twice. 

^August 18. — The American slave schooner commanded by 
Newell sailed yesterday. 

* A large schooner coming in without any colours, a shot was 

' Witnesses for the trial of the ringleaders of the riots. 

* A younger brother of Zachary Macaulay, named Alexander, who had been 
appointed captain of one of the merchant vessels of the Company. 


fired at her, and a boat sent on board with an officer in it. No 
sooner had the boat reached the schooner than the schooner 
put ^bout and stood out, and was soon out of reach of our shot 
Alarmed by this, the packet was despatched after her, and 
towards evening, returned with the schooner, which proved to 
be the American which had gone out yesterday. There was 
no doubt something very suspicious in his manoeuvres, but 
there was a complete misunderstanding both on our side and 
his. He pretended to have been alarmed at our shot, and 
therefore to have stood out. A fog which came on prevented 
our seeing that our boat had put off from him. Captain Buckle 
understood my orders, which were hasty, in the letter rather 
than the spirit, for they had really in view only the recovery of 
the people and the boat, although in bringing back the vessel 
he certainly did not exceed my orders. I was sorry for it, con- 
ceiving it to be an unjustifiable exercise of power on our parts, 
although Newell had acted very blameably. He blustered a 
good deal, and threatened to leave his vessel on our hands. I 
made light of it, told him I should be glad to be the instrument 
of giving liberty to fifty captives (for so many had he on board), 
and that I knew the State of Massachusetts, from which he had 
sailed, disallowed the trade in which he was engaged. He 
took the hint, resumed the command of his vessel, and departed 
the next day, not without threats of revenge for the insult that 
had been offered him. I was myself really sorry for the trans- 
action, but I could not on the retrospect see that there was 
much to be condemned in the part which, according to existing 
circumstances, we had taken. 

^August 19. — The Quarter Sessions began. A case of 
adultery was tried and proved. The woman was punished by 
flogging, and the man by a fine of five pounds. The injured 
husband sued for a divorce to be granted him next session, 
according to the law now in force. 

'The rains still unintermitting. The exorbitant price at 
which bakers sold bread having been a subject of just com- 
plaint, we resolved to regulate it. We therefore resolved that 
bread should be sold by the bakers at the rate of threepence a 
pound, under a penalty of five pounds. This regulation gave 
general satisfaction except to a few interested individuals. 

* August 24. — I preached in the forenoon from "He that is 
faithful in the least is faithful also in much, and he that is 
unjust in the least is unjust also in much." 

^August 27. — Watt has begun the survey of farms previous 
to the distribution of prizes, and expresses himself highly 
pleased with their state. Captain Keene arrived on a small 
sloop, and acquainted us that on the 29th of June last the 


Naimbanna had been taken by Renaud in the river Gambia ; 
that the traders in the river had furnished him with a small 
schooner to bring him to Sierra Leone, but that the schooner 
was driven ashore at Bissao, on which Mr. de Sylva, a Portu- 
guese merchant there, had given him a passage on one of his 
own craft On arriving at the Isles de Los, King Cantor, on 
pretence of some old grievance, seized the Portuguese vessel, 
and put the crew into irons. Mr. Jackson then furnished Cap- 
tain Keene and his crew with a passage to this place. 

* Renaud expressed himself sorry for being obliged to take 
the Naimbanna^ but said that he was not at liberty to act as he 
chose, for if it should appear that he had allowed any English 
property to escape, he would be liable to the stroke of the law. 

' I wrote to Jackson demanding the restitution of the Portu- 
guese vessel and her crew, as it appeared that the business of 
their seizure had taken place at his instigation. I signified to 
him that I regarded the injury as done to us, as the vessel had 
been provided purposely for the accommodation of the Com- 
pany's servants. 

* September 8. — A slave brig, the Prince of Wales, Captain 
Webb, arrived from the West Indies. From Webb we learned 
that part of Guadaloupe was retaken by the French ; that 
liberty had been proclaimed to the French slaves in the West 
Indies ; and that America had wholly abolished the Slave Trade. 

* September 11. — I catechised the schools,^ and dismissed all 
those scholars who had been remiss in their attendance. The 
parents, whose fault it had been that they absented themselves, 
came to me afterwards, and promised that they should attend 
more regularly, on which I again admitted them. 

^September 13. — I had a letter from Mr. Powell, Holland's 
partner, demanding his slaves who had escaped. I made him an 
answer that I did not consider myself responsible for his slaves, 
nor even bound to make any inquiry respecting them. 

* September 22. — The Anna arrived with rice. The master, in 
his way down, had seen seven vessels to the northward of him, 
seemingly beating this way. We immediately concluded it 
w£is an English convoy, not supposing it possible for a moment 
tliat the French could have so many vessels in those latitudes. 
I thought of removing some of the Company's property, but 
^ira.ited, as much would be lost in the removal. As we had 
sufficient force to withstand a few Privateers, and as there did 
not appear the least likelihood that the fleet consisted of French 
men-of-war, I gave up the thought. Thinking it possible, 

* Macaulay writes to a friend, * We have made a schoolmaster of almost every 
\y\9j^ man in the Colony who reads and writes well enough. Grown persons crowd to 
tHe evening schools.' 


however, that it might be Renaud, coming here with an inten- 
tion to plunder, everything was put in order to receive him, and 
a plan was contrived for heating balls red hot In the evening 
the Anna was sent out to reconnoitre. 

'September 27. — The Anna sailed with Mr. Gray on board. 
We had now given up all thoughts of the fleet, and had resigned 
all the expectations with which we had flattered ourselves of 
news from England. But in the evening, while we were en- 
gaged in family worship, we were a little startled by the sound 
of two heavy guns at sea.^ This circumstance rekindled all our 
hopes, for on looking into a table of English signals, we found 
that two guns was the signal for coming to an anchor. We 
passed an anxious night 

* Sunday, September 28, 1794.— As soon as it was light we 
were able to count seven or eight sails,^ all of which were at 
anchor. They were soon in motion, and we could easily dis- 
tinguish English colours in all of them. About nine o'clock 
we made out that the fleet consisted of one two-decker, several 
frigates, and two armed brigs ; so that proceeding on the sup- 
position of their being enemies, all attempts at resistance would 
be little short of madness. All of us agreed that to make 
resistance to such a superior force would be an idle waste of 
lives, and might, unable as we should be to secure terms of 
capitulation, lead to more dreadful excesses than we had 
otherwise to apprehend. The point was then considered of 
attempting to save at least part of the Company's property. 
To this measure I had many objections. I felt that the only 
way of saving the Company's buildings was by our remaining 
on the spot, and that we should not be able to remain with 
safety if it were known that we had secreted property. Besides 
the chances were infinitely in favour of its being an English 
fleet, in which case, every step we took would be productive 
only of loss. And to add to all these reasons the wind was 
fair, the tide was flowing, and there was time neither for 
deliberation nor execution. 

*We continued for about half-an-hour agitated by hopes 
and fears, when perceiving some men in one of the frigates 
with great care pointing a gun into my piazza, we were relieved 
from all our doubts. Little time was allowed for anticipation, 
for the shot began to whistle over our heads. I gave orders to 
strike the colours, which was done, and hung out in my own 

* Some extracts from this part of the journal have already appeared in print in tbc 
Life of Lord Meuaulay, but by the permission of Sir George Trevelyan they are re- 
peated so as to preserve the continuity of the narrative. 

' The fleet consisted of seven sail, VExpirimetU of fifty guns, two frigates, fwo 
armed brigs, one of eighteen and the other twelve guns, all twelve pounders, and t^ro 
Guineamen prizes which were also well armed. 


piazza a flag of truce ; but the firing still continued,^ and several 
of the grape and musquet shot fell into my piazza. We then 
hailed them, and told them we had surrendered, on which they 
desisted from firing. 

'About this time, a little after ten o'clock, they began to 
land, and I immediately requested Mr. Watt to meet them, 
and to beg the commanding officer to come to my house. He 
found them already entered into the great Store, and into Mr. 
Pepys's and Mr. King's houses, and pillaging and destroying in 
a most shocking manner. The officer was too busily employed 
to come immediately, but Newell, the American whom I men- 
tioned before, and who had piloted them down, came to my 
house attended by half-a-dozen sans-culottes, almost foaming 
with rage, presented a pistol to me, and with many oaths 
demanded instant satisfaction for the slaves who had run away 
from him to my protection. I made very little reply, but told 
him he must now take such satisfaction as he judged equivalent 
to his claims, as I was no longer master of my actions. He 
became so very outrageous that, after bearing with him a little 
while, I thought it most prudent to repair myself to the French 
officer, and request his safe-conduct on board the Commodore's 

' As I passed along the wharf, the scene was curious enough. 
The Frenchmen, who had come ashore in filth and rags, were 
now many of them dressed out with women's shifts, gowns, and 
petticoats. Others had quantities of cloth wrapped about their 
bodies, or perhaps six or seven suits of clothes upon them at a 
time. The scene which presented itself on my getting on 
board the flagship was still more singular. The quarter-deck 
was crowded by a set of ragamuffins whose appearance beggared 
every previous description, and among whom I sought in vain 
for some one who looked like a gentleman. The stench and 
filth exceeded anything I had ever witnessed in any ship, and 
the noise and confusion gave me some idea of their famous 

* I was ushered into the Commodore's cabin, who at least 
received me very civilly. He did not appear to have the right 
of excluding any of his fellow-citizens even from this place. 
Whatever might be their rank, they crowded into it, and con- 
versed familiarly with him. I expressed to him my surprise at 
the proceedings I had witnessed. I told him that I expected 
to have found in Frenchmen a generous enemy, but that on the 

' Mr. Watt says in a private letter : * Notwithstanding Mr. Macaulay's order, the 
French continued to fire into the town for near half an hour. By this extra- 
ordinary conduct a woman and girl lost their lives, and several persons were badly 


contrary we had been dealt with in a manner which I believed 
was unusual except in places taken by storm. I then repre- 
sented to him the unrestrained pillage which had taken place, 
and the manner in which private houses and private property 
were violated, and requested him to put a stop to it. The first 
question he put to me was, " Have you removed any property ? " 
I answered him I had not. " Be careful," said he, " as to what 
you tell me, for if I should find after this that you have removed 
anything, I shall make you suffer, and there shall not be left a 
hut in the place." I repeated my assurance, on which he told 
me that I might be easy, that he would prevent further pillage, 
and should take care that no private property should be 
violated. This promise, however, gave me little consolation, as 
he would make no written engagement, and as he told me in 
the same breath, that, if the seamen and soldiers were disposed 
to pillage, he could not prevent them. 

* When he gave me to understand that it was his intention to 
burn every house in the place belonging to Englishmen, I made 
use of every plea I could think of to dissuade him, representing 
the nature of the establishment to him in a way which I thought 
might interest him, but it was to no purpose. The American 
Newell, and another American captain, one Mariner, who is in 
Mr. Holland's service, and who was also exasperated against us, 
both as he was a Slave-trader, and as five of Holland's slaves 
had taken refuge here, had poisoned the minds of the French. 
I perceived this, and tried to convince the Commodore of the 
unworthy motives which these men had for vilifying us, which 
he seemed not to disbelieve, but every application on behalf of 
the Colony was not the less ineffectual. The constant reply 
was, "Citoyen, cela pent bien 6tre, mais encore vous ^tes 
Anglais." I then represented to him the case of the Settlers, 
who at least were not Englishmen, but who were now sharing 
our fate in having their houses broken into and pillaged. He 
made strong protestations of his friendly intentions with respect 
to them, and promised to prevent all further injury to them ; hint- 
ing, however, as before, that there was no possibility of restraining 
the soldiery. He gave me a solemn assurance that their houses 
should be saved from fire, which I considered at least as some- 
thing gained. I proposed to ransom the place, but he said it 
was impossible for him to do so. I made a number of demands 
on him for things that I told him would be absolutely necessary 
to keep us alive, such as our wearing-apparel, provisions, a 
small craft, some wine, spirits, tobacco, arms, powder, and 
medicines, all which he promised to comply with, but I found 
in the end how little reliance there is now to be placed on the 
promise of a sans-culotte. 


'The Coiqmodore wished me to dine with him, but I had no 
appetite for food, and I left him a little after noon, with our 
prospects very little improved. He had promised indeed to 
introduce a strict discipline ashore, but he had none on board 
his own ship, so that I regarded his promise as nugatory. 
While I was with him a frigate and two of the brigs passed 
on to Bance Island. 

*The spectacle which Freetown exhibited at my landing was 
truly deplorable, but my heart was already hardened, and things 
which, four hours before, I should have trembled to think of, I 
now beheld with an apathy and unconcern which is inconceiv- 
able to those who have not experienced the like. I found on 
the wharf a parcel of Frenchmen emptying a case of port wine, 
while others were loading themselves with goods of various 
kinds. A little higher up I met Mariner, the American, adorned 
with some of Pepys's spoils, and vowing destruction to the 
place, and every individual in it, if Holland's five slaves were 
not restored. He was also relating how, in Mr. Clarkson's 
time, the Settlers had followed him into his boat with stones, 
but that now he should glut himself with revenge. As I 
passed along, the sight was still more affecting. The sight 
of my own and of the accountant's offices almost sickened 
me. Every desk and every drawer and every shelf, together 
with the printing and copying presses, had been completely 
demolished in the search for money. The floors were strewn 
with types, and papers, and leaves of books, and I had 
the mortification to see a great part of my own labour and 
of the labour of others for several years totally destroyed. 
At the other end of the house I found telescopes, hygrometers, 
barometers, thermometers, and electrical machines lying about 
in fragments. The view of the town library filled me with 
lively concern. The volumes were tossed about and defaced 
with the utmost wantonness, and if they happened to bear any 
resemblance to Bibles they were torn in pieces and trampled 
on. The collection of natural curiosities next caught my eye. 
Plants, seeds, dried birds, insects, and drawings were scattered 
about in great confusion, and some of the sailors were actually 
in the act of killing a beautiful musk-cat, which they after- 
wards ate. Every house was full of Frenchmen, who were 
hacking, and destroying, and tearing up everything which they 
could not convert to their own use. The destruction of live- 
stock on this and the following day was immense. In my yard 
alone they killed fourteen dozen of fowls, and there were not 
less than twelve hundred hogs shot in the town. 

' In my own house the state of things was, if possible, still 
worse. I found there Watt, Winterbottom, King and his wife. 


Buckle, Jones, Seely, who was sick, and others. They were 
sitting in the hall, which was now converted into a guardroom, 
surrounded by about a dozen of ill-looking fellows, who were, 
however, tolerably civil in their way, and offered us a share 
of their fricasseed fowls and boiled pork. We all continued 
here during the remainder of the day, and passed the time in 
moralising on our late and present situation. We found, in 
casting up the accounts, that we had lost very little by the 
change. We were free from pain ; we felt neither cold, nor 
hunger, nor thirst ; in short, we found out that happiness does 
not consist in the number of things we possess, but in the mind 
being so indifferent to externals as neither to feel their weight 
when present, nor their want when absent We had likewise 
come to feel those calamities attendant on war, of which we 
had so often read with indifference ; we now found out, too, 
how much better the mind of man is fitted to bear adversity 
than prosperity. And surely it is in mercy that God has so 
ordered it, seeing our course is so strewed with thorns. We 
had this day sustained a shock as heavy and unexpected as 
could well be imagined, and we had a moral assurance that all 
the product of near three years' toil in this place would be 
totally destroyed. Our prospects as to lodging, clothing, and 
food were also very gloomy ; but these evils being now irremedi- 
able by any device of ours, our minds were speedily reconciled 
to them, and we were not tortured with doubt or suspense. Our 
hands being in a manner tied, we had no measures to take, we 
were so far free from solicitude, and we waited with patience 
the result. We could even amuse ourselves with the strange 
and ludicrous appearance of the people around us, their savage 
manners, their wanton rage against our aristocratical lamps, 
decanters, looking-glasses, and tumblers, their extravagant 
boastings of their nation, and their vehement railings against 
Pitt and George. There is not a boy among them who has 
not learnt to accompany the name of Pitt with an execration. 
Bating their rude and disgusting familiarity (for officers and 
men mixed promiscuously with us), we received no personal 
insults ; but towards night, from the quantity of wine they had 
drunk, they became so noisy that I begged and received per- 
mission to have the bedchambers reserved entirely for ourselves. 
I accordingly lay down in my former room for the last time, 
with a sentinel on each door, and Mrs. King and the gentlemen 
bestowed themselves in different apartments. I was permitted 
to remain there all night; but when I went to bed there was 
no sleep to be had on account of the sentinels thinking fit to 
amuse me the whole night through with the revenge they meant 
to take on Pitt when they got him to Paris. In the course of 


the evening the Anna, in which Mr. Gray had gone out, re- 
turned in the supposition of its being an English fleet, and was 
taken. All the Company's servants, except those I have men- 
tioned, disappeared on the first firing, and I saw no more of 
them for some days. 

'Monday, September 29. — I went on board the flagship, and 
got liberty for Gray, and those who were with him, to come 
ashore with their baggage. I renewed my endeavours in behalf 
of this place, but to no purpose. 

'The Commodore came ashore with me. The pillage was 
still going on, and he appeared affected by it, and tried to stop 
it, but in vain. We found them in one place pillaging the 
baggage Gray had brought ashore, but that we were able to 
recover and save. Assisted by the Commodore, I got some 
clothes, books, papers, and a few other things which were still 
remaining, sent into the country, but the greatest part of them 
was taken away by the different gangs of pillagers who beset 
every avenue. A good many of my clothes were put into a 
place of safety, and a great part of the books and papers were 
afterwards picked up. Our situation in town became every hour 
more unpleasant, as the soldiery were giving in to every kind of 
excess, and as they were shooting all day at the stock which 
was running about, which made walking extremely dangerous. 
Accordingly the greatest part of the gentlemen separated them- 
selves different ways in the course of this and the next day ; 
Watt fixed his headquarters at Granville Town, and the others 
went either to native towns or to the farmhouses of Settlers. I 
learnt that Pepys and his wife and boy had got into the woods, 
and that Garvin and others had taken refuge in the Danish 
Town.^ I was very averse myself to quit the scene of action 
while there was any prospect of doing anything in behalf of 
the people. I accordingly applied for permission to remain on 
board the Commodore's vessel while they remained, and I 
obtained it. I met with a number of the Settlers to-day ; they 
appeared a good deal affected, and I was not a little so at 
seeing them. On board the Commodore's vessel there were 
a number of English prisoners, from whom I learnt that Mr. 
Jackson, at the Isles de Los, had had it in his power to give us 
three days' notice of the force and destination of the French 
fleet, but that he refused, saying he would be glad to hear of 
our being destroyed. The manner of life on board the ExpM- 
ffient was disgusting beyond example. The Commodore and 

* This settlement, in the mountains which were near Freetown, had been formed 
by a number of slaves, who some years before had contrived to get possession of the 
Oanish slave-ship in which they were confined, and which was lying at anchor in the 
mouth of the Sierra Leone River. As may be supposed, they generally guarded 
carefully against any strangers approaching their town. 


all his officers messed together, and I was admitted among 
them. They are truly the poorest-looking people I ever saw ; 
even the Commodore has only one suit which can at all dis- 
tinguish him, not to say from the officers, but from the men. 
The filth and confusion of their meals was terrible. A chorus 
of boys usher in the dinner with the Marseilles hymn, and it 
finishes in the same way. The enthusiasm of all ranks among 
them is astonishing, but not less so than their blindness. They 
talk with ecstasy of their revolutionary government, of their 
bloody executions, of their revolutionary tribunal, of the rapid 
movement of their revolutionary army with the Corps of Justice 
and the flying guillotine before it : forgetting that not one of 
them is not liable to its stroke on the accusation of the greatest 
vagabond on board. They asked me with triumph if yesterday 
had not been Sunday. " Oh," said they, " the National Con- 
vention have decreed that there is no Sunday, and that the 
Bible is all a lie!" I lay in the Commodore's cabin, not with 
very great comfort, for notwithstanding the abundance of their 
pillage I could not procure a sheet to throw over me. 

* Tuesday^ September 30. — I went ashore with the Commodore, 
whom I prevailed on, by dint of importunity, to permit me to 
make a division among the Settlers of about five tons of rice 
which was in the Store. This was truly a providential supply. 
I met with Watt, and walked with him a little way into the 
country. I found the French had made their way out to the 
farms in various directions, and were plundering at a sad rate.* 
They came to a house where some books and papers of mine 
were, and they threw them about, and scattered them through 
the fields. At one man's house I found them taking away the 
bed he had to lay on. I tried to dissuade them from it, but 
was like to pay dearly for my interference. Four officers, whom 
I knew, came most providentially up at the time, and the 
offenders were put into irons. This, I believe, procured me 
an immunity from very gross insults in future ; indeed, except 
when drunk, they were little disposed to insult very grossly. 
I learned too that all the native children, together with Mrs. 
Perth who had the charge of them, were safe at Pa Dembo's * 
town, about a mile and a half from Freetown to the south-west. 

* At night I repaired on board. Mariner, the American, was 
there, and was gross in his abuse. He gloried in what had 
been done, and expressed it as his heart's desire to be able to 

^ Dr. Afzelius, when writing from Sierra Leone at this period to the Swedish 
Envoy in Xx>ndon, says : * The French officers have no authority, and the sailors do 
what they please. These citizens are in general miserable men, in great want, cruel, 
and living like wild beasts by devouring their prey.' 

^ This Chief gave shelter to Mrs. Perth, the black schoolmistress, and her scholars 
during the stay of the French fleet. 


wash his hands in the blood of Englishmen, and that if his 
influence could weigh anything not a hut should be left in 
the place. This man, I should think, if got hold of, might 
be tried as a pirate. He this day went in pursuit of a sloop 
which was in the river's mouth. He was himself on board a 
sloop of his own, carrying American colours, and he took the 
vessel while he was under American colours. She proved to 
be one of the Bance Island trading crafts. 

*I went ashore, and met Watt and Graham. I advised 
Graham to carry over with him to the Bullom shore the sick at 
Granville Town ; and desired Watt to send a man overland 
to Aspinwall^'in the Scarcies, to collect rice for us. I saw 
Maltby in a hut, with a fever on him, as I went along in quest 
of Pepys. I found Pepys and his family, together with some 
others, a great way in the woods, without any shelter, but in 
tolerable health. They were at no loss for food ; the Settlers, 
numbers of whose families were in the woods around them, 
supplying them liberally. When the first shot was fired into 
the town, Pepys parted at once with every particle of his 
resolution, and wrung his hands like a child. I tried to make 
him easy, but in vain. He ran away into the woods, after some 
search found Mrs. Pepys, and terrified still more by foolish 
reports that a price was put upon his head, he had multiplied 
precautions for his safety and for securing his retreat still 
further. I used every means I could think of to prevail on 
him to quit this place while health was left, and repair to 
Granville Town, whence he might go to the Bullom shore ; and 
he at last consented. I left him, strongly advising him to give 
no credit to idle reports, as he was perfectly safe. No sooner, how- 
ever, had I gone, than some one told him some silly tale which 
awakened all his former fears, destroyed the effect of everything 
I had said to him, and determined him not to quit the woods. 

* I sent one of the Settlers down to the Cape to watch for 
any vessels which might be coming in, and by means of a 
native canoe to warn them of their danger. 

* There was heavy rain by which I was thoroughly wet, but 
we did not mind these inconveniences now, though I grieved 
for poor Pepys. On going on board I found a schooner of 
Cleveland's in the possession of the French, I pleaded on 
behalf of Cleveland, and was at last able to prevail on the 
Coinniodore to liberate the schooner, with which the Grumettas 
went away. 

* October 2. — I went to Pa Dembo's, and saw the native 
children, who appear to have been terribly frightened by the 

^ Mr. Aspinwall had a slave factory at the Scarcies, and was upon very friendly 
terms with Macaulay. 


appearance of some French near the town to-day, but the old 
man was very resolute, and would not permit them by any 
means to enter it. 

' On my return I found our vessel the Janies burning, also my 
house, Mr. Pepys's new house, Harmony Hall, Mr. Padenheim's, 
and one or two Settlers' houses which were in their way. You 
cannot conceive with what indifference I beheld the sight of a 
fire, which, happening a week sooner, would have made me per- 
fectly miserable. I entered the church. The pulpit was broken 
in pieces ; the prayer-books and Bibles torn and defaced, and the 
clock disfigured and rendered useless. The Commodore had 
promised to save the church, but I did not believe him. The 
apothecary's shop was a heap of confusion, every bottle and every 
jar was broken, and the medicines were totally destroyed. 

*0n going to bed I found that news had come of Bancc 
Island being taken. Tilley, after removing his goods, deserted 
it when the French landed and burnt everything on it He, 
however, saved very little, for the canoes which the natives 
brought to the back of the island to carry off the goods, instead 
of removing them to the place appointed, carried them to their 
own places. The Prince of Wales slave brig was burnt there, 
and some more vessels, but fortunately three of the largest 
craft were to the northward. 

* October 3. — Afzeliuscameon board to try to recover his draw- 
ings. After bearing much rudeness and meeting many rebuffs, 
he was at last able to recover some of them. I complained 
to the Commodore to-day of the conduct of the Americans, and 
of the threats they held out ; and pressed strongly the incon- 
sistency of his encouraging and countenancing men whose sole 
object was to make slaves, and whose only dislike to us arose 
from our dislike of slavery, while at the same time the French 
were declaring war against all slavery and liberating, as they 
said, all slaves. The Commodore on this attacked Mariner, 
who now tried to evade the charge I had brought against him. 
It ended with the Commodore's telling him to take no measure 
whatever against the place, or against any individual, and his 
promising to obey. 

' October 4, 1794. — I reminded the Commodore of all his 
promises to me, and now demanded their accomplishment. 
He evaded them all, and told me in plain terms that, if he were 
to comply with them, his head would be in jeopardy. I made 
such a representation to him of our state, that at last I got 
from him a barrel of flour, a cask of pork, and a puncheon of 
brandy, which I sent in a native canoe to Granville Town. I 
went thither myself by land. On my way I met Watt^ who 
told me that Pepys was still in the woods, and that he was now 


going to find him out and bring him away. I found in one of 
the farmhouses a woman, who had been wounded in the thigh 
by a shot, and who was in great pain. I promised to find out 
a surgeon and send him to her. 

* At Granville Town things were quiet. Watt returned and 
told us he had found Pepys and his wife in inconceivable 
distress. With great difficulty he had brought them to a farm- 
house on the road. We went to meet them, and found them on 
their way supported by some people, but scarce able to walk. 
Fortunately a canoe was found setting off for the Bullom shore, 
and Pepys and his family were safely landed on the other side, 
but in so low and languid a state as to cause serious fears for 
all of them. 

* I went at night to Pa Dembo's with the intention of going 
in the morning in quest of Winterbottom, that something, if 
possible, might be done for Pepys. I was hospitably received 
by the old man, and Mrs. Perth gave me a tolerable bed, and 
some tea to refresh me after the fatigues of the day. As there 
were a good many Settlers here, we had the pleasure of joining 
together at night in the worship of God. It is a truth no 
doubt that our hearts are the proper seats of worship and 
adoration ; and it may be said that of course we may at all 
times and in all places have the comforts of communion with 
God ; but experience will scarce justify this. We may at all 
times and in all places retain a complacency of mind in the con- 
sciousness that God sees us and numbers the hairs of our heads. 
We may feel a total submission to His will, and a readiness to 
bear whatever His providence may lay on us ; but this is 
|>erhaps the utmost extent of that devotion which can exist in 
a situation of hurry and confusion, when the lips are not at 
liberty to give vent to the feelings of the heart. The pleasure 
arising from the expression of devotion, and from joining one's 
voice with others in praising God, may perhaps be artificially 
excited. I am not casuist enough to determine the point, but 
its* effects on the mind are no less real than if it were otherwise. 

* Sunday, October 5. — I set off after morning service in quest 
of the doctor ; and as it had rained in the night, and the road 
was much overgrown, I was soon completely wet. I found him 
much reduced by fever. Gray had gone to the Cape to look 
out for vessels. After some consultation, it was determined 
that we should go on board the Commodore^ to procure if 
possible some medicines. We accordingly went on board, but 
our strongest entreaties, our most earnest solicitations, produced 
no more effect than if they had been addressed to stones, and 
we left them much chagrined. Mariner, the American, how- 
ever, made us an offer of some of his medicines, which, though 


I felt it unpleasant to receive favours at his hand, we were glad 
to accept. We went on board his vessel, but could procure 
very little. His supply consisted only of a small case he had 
taken out of Pepys's house, containing but a little of each 
common article. This man Mariner had on board the greatest 
part of our library. The sextant, which came out in the Amy^ 
was there also, broken in pieces. 

' October 6. — We set off in the morning for Granville Town ; 
but we did not pass through Freetown, as we saw that the con- 
flagration of the remaining buildings had commenced. The 
church, the range of houses beside it, in short all the 
Company's buildings which were exempted from the former 
fire, were now consumed, together with three of the Settlers' 
houses on the waterside. 

* We called at a number of farmhouses on our way, and were 
gratified by the warm congratulations of the Settlers on our 
health and safety. There was no appearance of want among 
them. When we arrived at Granville Town we were happy to 
find that the French vessels from Bance Island had passed 
down about an hour before, without doing any mischief. They 
had fired one shot, which had sent all the people into the woods, 
but they did not attempt to land. We were now in hopes of 
their speedily leaving us at liberty to provide for the Colony's 
wants. Our vessels were burnt, as well as all the boats they 
could lay their hands on. The Thornton was given to Mariner, 
the American, as a reward for his services, with a quantity of 
goods to be divided between him and Newell. 

* October 7. — Gray and I went on board the Commodore. A 
ship appeared in the offing, and the Thornton and one of the 
brigs went in pursuit of her. We dined on board, and 1 
renewed my application for provisions, but to no purpose. I 
felt a degree of degradation in importuning these men notwith- 
standing repeated and rude refusals, which nothing but a con- 
viction of the duty I owed to myself and others would have 
made me submit to. The Commodore's excuse was no doubt 
a powerful one, namely, the fear of the guillotine. 

* After dinner we went ashore, and returned to Granville 
Town, where I found things pretty comfortably situated. The 
Marshal had set apart his house for the use of my family, of 
whom there were now here Watt, Winterbottom, Lowes, 
Afzelius, and Gray, together with an European man-serva.nt, 
I now resolved to fix myself here, and only to go to Freetown 
as there might be occasion, as there seemed little likelihood of 
effecting anything with the French. 

'Bartholomew has been on board the Commodore, and was 
well received. He came down again to-day, together witH the 


King. They landed at Thompson's Bay in their way down, 
and meeting with some Settlers, they talked very big. Bar- 
tholomew said among other things that Mr. Dawes and I had 
killed his brother,^ but that now was his time to procure 
satisfaction. This, together with the previous detention of our 
vessels, and the reports which in such a time will naturally 
arise, filled the minds of the Settlers with more fears from the 
natives than they had entertained from the French. We did 
what we could to make them easy. 

' October 9. — I went down to Freetown, and found on my 
arrival that the Harpy was within a mile of the French fleet ; 
but those on board at that moment perceiving the demolition 
of the Company's houses, she put about, and stood out. A 
frigate and the two brigs, together with the Thornton, went in 
chase of her, and we had the satisfaction to see the Harpy gain 
on them all the while they continued in sight. But the wind . 
dying away soon after led us to entertain fears of her safety. 

* I went on board the Commodore in order to procure, if 
possible, the restitution of Lawrence's schooner, he being a 
native, but in vain. There were letters found on board addressed 
to me, and that was sufficient ground for condemnation. I 
dined there, and renewed my application for necessaries, but I 
was only able to procure a bag of biscuits and about twenty 
pounds of sugar, which was, however, a very grateful supply. 

• October 10. — Mr. Watt and I went down in the morning to 
Freetown, when we had the mortification to see the Harpy in 
the harbour. A boat came ashore from her shortly after, in 
which were Telford, and Bracy and his family, with a good 
part of their private property which they had been permitted 
to keep. My first inquiry was for the despatches ; and, under- 
standing from Telford that they had been delivered to the 
Commodore, we immediately went on board to him. On my 
applying for the letters he told me very coolly that it was a 
pity I had not come a few minutes sooner, as he had just 
thrown them overboard. I looked out, and saw them floating 
on the water, on which I begged permission to take them up, 
together with a boat for that purpose. He agreed to this, but 
before it could be done altered his mind, I believe at Mariner's 
instigation, and refused the permission. I strove with him, 
I entreated, I protested. It was all in vain. He remained 
inflexible. Nothing had yet happened materially to disturb 
my mind, but this stroke affected me very forcibly. My regret 
for the loss of the letters, and my indignation at such unworthy 
treatment, such wanton cruelty, unhinged me not a little. 
Determined, however, to save what I could, I renewed my 

^ Henry Granville Naimbanna. 


application for the public despatches, and for one letter 
addressed to myself from Mr. Home, which had not shared the 
fate of the other letters. These they gave me with the excep- 
tion of the invoices and catalogues of prices. They also gave 
me the newspapers and reviews which had not been destroyed. 

* We came ashore dispirited and mortified and disappointed 
beyond measure, and I made the best of my way to Granville 
Town, where I found, to add to my uneasiness, Pepys's corpse 
lying unburied. He had died the morning before in great pain 
of body, and apparently great distress of mind. In the evening 
Mr. Jack^ Banna, and Dublin, the natives who returned from 
England in the Harpy ^ came. They were stript of everything. 
They were, however, in tolerable spirits, and amused us very 
much by their account of what they had seen in England. 
They spoke in high terms of the kindness shown them by you 
.and the other gentlemen. 

^October ii. — Signor Domingo called in the morning, and 
promised to send us what provisions he could get. I learnt 
that it was the Commodore's intention to put all his prisoners^ 
ashore, and as they amounted to near one hundred and twenty 
the news excited my serious apprehensions. I therefore wrote 
him a strong remonstrance on the subject, renewing my de- 
mands for provisions, spirits, wine, medicines. I feared little good 
effect would arise from the measure, but then we should at 
least be no worse for it. The Frenchmen for some days had 
confined themselves to the town, as the Settlers had now 
plucked up a little courage, and made a show of resistance 
whenever they ventured into the country. To-day a party of 
Frenchmen who had gone out in quest of booty were terribly 
alarmed by some of the Settlers who had set upon them. I 
met them running back with the most laughable precipitation. 
I was apprehensive they would have known me, but their terror 
was so great that they did not even perceive me. The brig 
Sophia of London, Captain Bevans, was taken to-day as she 
was coming into the river. This was a rich prize. The Rev. 
Mr. Langlands* came up to Granville Town in the afternoon. 
He had been able to save nothing but his gown. All his books 
and papers, the product of many years' hard study, were refused 
him. He seemed a good deal affected by the loss of these, as 
it would prove so totally impossible to replace them. He bore 
his new and trying situation, however, with a good deal of 

^Sunday, October 12. — Notice had been given of service being 
performed at this place to-day, and a good many people 

* These were English seamen. 

3 The new Chaplain who had arrived in the Harpy, 


attended. It was agreed that I should introduce Mr. Langlands. 
I preached in the forenoon, and Mr. Langlands in the 

^October 13. — On my coming into Freetown in the morning I 
met with some French officers, who told me the Commodore 
had sent them ashore with provisions for me in consequence of 
what I had written. The quantity sent was more than I 
expected. I went on board and thanked the Commodore for 
his goodness, and expressed a hope that he would comply with 
my other demands, but to this he turned a deaf ear. As they 
were preparing to sail I made haste ashore again, and had the 
satisfaction to see them depart about noon. 

* Left now to ourselves, I ordered an allowance of six pounds 
of flour and four pounds of beef to each of the prisoners, to last 
for one week, also a little spirits. The number of prisoners was 
about one hundred and twenty, and joined to the Europeans in 
the Settlement made the number one hundred and sixty. The 
beef was nearly exhausted at the first serving. I engaged 
several tolerably good boarded houses in town for myself and 
some others of my household, which I directed to be put in 
order, and returned to Granville Town. The house I took for 
myself contains a hall twenty-two feet by fifteen, and two small 
rooms, one of which serves for a bedroom, and the other for a 
place for our provisions. The other houses are only single 
apartments of about fifteen feet square. 

* The Settlers had, during the time the French stayed here, 
behaved with kindness to all of us, and there was no instance 
of any of them, even of those who were most disaffected, showing 
a disposition to insult any of us. I was indeed much better 
pleased with their conduct than I had yet been. They had saved 
a good deal of rice and molasses, and also rum, which I gave 
them to understand should not be claimed ; but that everything 
else, belonging to the Company, which they might have saved, 
I should think the Company entitled to. Great quantities of 
lumber had been removed by them in the night-time to their 
own yards. They had stript off and removed the lining of many 
of the houses, and the frame of the old hospital was almost 
entirely saved. They had also saved two or three of the 
Company's boats, and a great quantity of ironmongery. All 
these things I expected to be returned. 

* We had received notice a few days ago from Aspinwall that 
he had twenty tons of rice ready for us ; and Tilley sent down 
a barrel of gunpowder, and promised to spare us more if we 
should want it. 

* October 14. — I convened as soon as I could the Hundreders, 
Tithingmen, and some of the principal inhabitants. After 


saying a few words to them on the vast sum of money the 
Company had laid out on this place, and on their various losses, I 
told them that it was necessary that they should apply themselves 
without any delay to farming. They saw now the decided 
advantages which those who were possessed of farms had over 
those who had no farms. No one, however, could expect future 
aid who did not faithfully restore all the Company's property 
in his possession, provisions of all kinds excepted ; and for the 
goods which should be restored a salvage would be paid them 
of four shillings in the pound. There appeared to be a disposi- 
tion among the people present to raise a number of objections ; 
but I told them that I had made up my mind that they were 
in justice bound to restore the Company's property now, as much 
as if they had assisted in rescuing their neighbours' furniture 
from fire. They made me no reply, but I saw there were among 
them many much dissatisfied. 

* In the afternoon an American schooner came in, which 
proved to be a vessel from Rhode Island loaded with rum, and 
with about forty casks of provisions of various kinds. I was 
made very uneasy by a report that the prisoners ashore had 
resolved to cut her off, which I took measures to prevent, and 

' October 1 5. — I pressed the American to sell his provisions, 
which he was disposed to do ; but, being frightened by reports 
of an intended attempt to seize his vessel, he would not stay 
any longer, but set sail. We were plagued with continual 
reports of attacks meditated by natives, but I perceived they 
had their origin only among the Settlers themselves. They 
wished, I saw, to discover whether I had arms and powder to 
give them. I heard all the reports with great indifference, only 
telling them that if the natives should come, which I did not 
believe, they must defend themselves ; and that, if they appre- 
hended danger, they should fix patrols for the night 

* October 16. — We were obliged to have recourse again to the 
fabrication of paper money, an unpleasant, but at this time 
necessary expedient. 

* October 18. — Banna ^ came here to-day, and I asked about 
the vessels. He said he thought if I would go up and talk with 
the King, that he would give them up. I told him I could not 
go myself, but that Watt and Buckle should go, which he said 
would do. I asked him the reason of the King's threatening 
war as he had done. He said the King was angry with me ; 
and that he had said, if I did not comply with his demands, he 
would drive me out of the country. On this I desired him to 
tell the King that, if he was disposed to make any such attempt, 

* One of the natives who had returned in the Harpy from a visit to England. 


he should find such a warm reception as would prevent his 
repeating it. Banna had had a palaver with you in England 
about the original sale of our district ; when Banna discovered 
to me the view the natives now have, and which he probably 
concealed both from you and Dawes. Their view is to have a 
palaver, to which those are to be cited who received any pay- 
ment for the land. The amount of this payment they mean to 
repay to us, which they think will dissolve the contract, and that 
they will be at liberty to exact any yearly sum they think 
proper. This fine reasoning seems to have originated with 
Banna, who has acquired some strange notions of taxation and 
the rights of kings by his visit to England. I made a very short 
reply to his reasoning, saying that we had paid for the land, 
that it was in our possession, and that our consent would be 
wanted to such a measure. 

' October 19. — Mr. Langlands preached twice. His thoughts 
and language are excellent, but unfortunately shrouded both 
from vulgar and English ears. He manifests, however, a great 
willingness to be put right, and in a little time the people will 
become familiarised to his dialect, which is unintelligible but to 
a Scotch ear. 

• October 20. — Watt and Buckle went up to Robago to settle 
the palaver with the King. A schooner arrived from the 
Scarcies with four tons of rice and other provisions and 

' The Company's servants have now all got into town, many 
of them in a very poor state of health, to which the want of 
medicines, regular and nourishing diet, and good accommoda- 
tion contributed not a little. It is among the English seamen, 
however, who received this day a further allowance of eight 
pounds of flour, there being no beef, that disease begins to make 
fearful ravages. The prospect is truly melancholy. 

• October 21. — Calker^ from the Plantains arrived hereto-day, 
and seemed much affected by the ruinous state of the place. 
He told me that only one of the French brigs had called at the 
Bananas, the other vessels having gone round the shoals ; that 
Mr. Cleveland had resolutely refused a pilot to carry the brig 
into the Sherbro, where the Duke of Buccleuch had taken 
shelter ; and that after receiving some fresh stock, the brig 
departed without doing any injury. 

• October 22. — I got together a few carpenters and labourers. 
and began building a store on the old foundation. We also laid 
out a space immediately above the store whereon to erect a 
church eighty feet by twenty. These and another house, which 
together with the upper part of the store, will afford shelter to 

1 A Slave-trader. 


all the Company's officers during the rains, are the only buildings 
I have any intention at present of erecting. 

* October 24. — Buckle came back and with him Banna. Watt 
was detained by the King on account, he alleged, of Watt's 
being saucy, until it should be known whether I had authorised 
him to be so. I returned for answer that I had put no particular 
words into Mr. Watt's mouth, but that I had told him in general 
to tell the King that his conduct towards us had been unjust 
and unbecoming. Banna said that the King had agreed to give 
up the vessels as he saw there was no just cause for seizing 
them, and that I might send for them immediately ; and that 
he only detained Mr. Watt till he should get my answer. 

* I sent up Captain Telford and some seamen to bring down 
the vessels, and sent Cooper to bear my answer. They are 
now beginning to be afraid of the consequences of their 

* October 25. — Mr. Eveson came from the Bananas, and brought 
with him some goats for me, together with a cow and calf from 
Cleveland. I received at the same time very handsome offers 
of assistance should T require it. Watt returned from Robago 
in good health, nothing worse for having been a state- 

* October 28. — Jackson, from the Isles de Los, called here in 
his way down from Bance Island, He brought ashore two 
seamen who had died on board, to be buried, and he told us 
that there were twenty or thirty sick on board. I spoke with 
Jackson about his pestering me with applications for his people 
who had run away, and told him to discontinue them. I con- 
sidered myself in no shape bound to answer to him for any men 
who might come ashore here, nor would I even say that I should 
not employ them. I spoke to him also of the Portuguese 
captives taken by Cantor from the vessels in which Keenecame 
from Bissao. He said these were all in his custody, and should 
remain there till they were redeemed. I gave him to under- 
stand that I conceived it my duty to demand an account of 
these men from Cantor, when I should be able to do so. 

' He left me and went on board his vessel, and as he was 
getting under weigh, sent his boat on shore with eighteen sick 
seamen on board, whom he left on the wharf in a most miserable 
plight. I was not made acquainted with this circumstance till 
next day, when I learnt at the same time that one of them had 
died in the course of the night. They were all of them, I was 
told, so weak that they were scarce able to ascend the hill ; 
and it was with the utmost difficulty they got to a place of 

* AspinwaU's sghpojner arrived with four tons of rice and some 


other articles. The consumption of rice is much less than I 
expected, owing to the quantity of provisions on the farms. 
Almost all of us were now laid up ; and what made it worse 
both for us and the seamen, who were dying fast, all the 
doctors were sick. 

^November 4. — Vessels appeared in the offing. The Settlers 
were terribly frightened, and set themselves to removing their 
goods. They had got all their wearing apparel and portable 
property into the woods when the vessels proved to be, y/hat I 
had judged them from the first, the Duke of Buccleuchy and a 
Liverpool slave-ship lately come on the coast, a small sloop 
belonging to Bance Island, and the schooner Flora belong- 
ing to Bristol, which the French brig had taken off the Bananas, 
and which had been made a present of to M. Mouton, a French 
trader. From him she was retaken by the Bance Island sloop. 
Tilley had gone out to meet the Duke of Buccleuchy and was 
now on board. I had a letter from him, enclosing one from 
you of the date July 4th. His letter informed me that the 
Flora was to be fitted out with all expedition to carry intelli- 
gence to England. 

*^ November 6. — I was worse to-day, and all the other gentle- 
men were indisposed, and some of them very ill. The state of 
the seamen was shocking beyond all description, three and four 
were dying each day ; and though we did what in our weakly 
situation and with our scanty provisions we could do to assist 
them, yet it was ineffectual. I believe none of them could be 
said to have wanted a meal of rice if they had been disposed to 
use it. To-day a cow, which had been for some time past at 
the Bullom shore, was killed and brought over, and divided in 
shares of three pounds each to the Company's servants, and 
the remainder given to the sick seamen. 

* November 7. — Watt returned from Bance Island, bringing 
with him a supply of beef, flour, sugar, and butter. He also 
brought a little stationery, wine, and porter, so that I was 
enabled to make a division to each of the Company's servants, 
and to the seamen. 

* November 15. — A Liverpool vessel, commanded by a Cap- 
tain Clair, came down from Bance Island on her way to Cape 
Mount, taking slaves. Mr. Tilley and Captain Maclean, of 
the Duke of Buccleuch, came down at the same time. Mr. 
Tilley proposed that I should join him in a memorial to the 
Secretary of State respecting the conduct of the Americans on 
the coast After much conversation on the subject, 1 found it 
most prudent to acquiesce ; and accordingly a memorial will be 
drawn up and sent home. It will be addressed to Lord Gren- 
ville ; and as a copy of it goes to you, and another to Messrs. 



Anderson,^ should you think its delivery improper, it may be 

'About noon I was surprised by the appearance of my 
brother, though I soon guessed the cause. The Sierra Leone 
packet and the James and Wtlliam had been run on shore 
by the French fleet, about a fortnight ago, at Bassa. They got 
all ashore among the natives, who stripped them of everything 
they had been able to save in their hurry out of the vessels. A 
good many more seamen were put ashore there by the French, 
who had been taken out of four or five slave vessels cap- 
tured there. After remaining at Bassa a few days, boats were 
procured and put in order, in which my brother, and some 
other captains, and as many others as could sit in them, set off 
to the northward. They arrived safe at Cape Mesurado, where 
they found a factor of Mr. Cleveland's, who received them 
kindly, furnished them with provisions and additional boats, 
and also himself accompanied them. They kept along shore, 
rowing all the time, till they came to the mouth of the Sherbro. 
They put into Jenkins, where old Mr. Addow received them all 
very kindly. His son George, who used to visit us here, 
insisted on my brother accepting a suit of his dress-clothes, 
and appeared hurt at his declining them. From this place 
they reached the Bananas, and were hospitably enter- 
tained by Cleveland, who gave them a schooner to bring them 

* The French have already destroyed, on a moderate calcula- 
tion, to the amount of four hundred thousand pounds sterling 
on this coast. The value of the Liverpool vessels alone is more 
than one hundred and twenty thousand pounds. 

^Sunday, November i6. — Tilley and Captain Maclean re- 
turned to Bance Island. I preached twice from ist Kings, 
chapters 20 and 21, as all our preachers were ill. 

* Tuesday, November 25. — I feel so much better to-day that 1 
venture once more to take up the pen after my severe illness, 
although still weak from my long confinement to bed. Tilley's 
dangerous illness has delayed the sailing of the Flora, so that 1 
am able to continue my journal to a later date. I grieve to 
inform you of the deaths of poor Seeley and of Edwards.- 
Lowes^ was able to attend Tilley at Bance Island in his 

* Mr. Jack, from the Bullom shore, whom I had sent for, came 
over, and seemed to relish my proposal of building a large 
house and a store on that side of the water. In this way I 

' The owners of Bance Island. 

' The gardener at the Botanical garden. 

• Dr. Winterbottom's assistant. 


trust soon to have a comfortable retreat, to which we may 
occasionally retire from internal noise and tumult, as well as 
from foreign invaders. 

* November 26. — In writing of the past crisis, I have already 
noticed the inveterate rage of the American Slave-traders, but 
many of the English traders were no less hostile to us. Jack- 
son, at the Isles de Los, when urged by Captain Smith of 
Liverpool to send a canoe here to apprise us of the force 
and destination of the French, which, says Captain Smith, he 
might have done three days before they left the Isles de Los, 
replied, " I '11 be damned if I do. I shall be glad to hear that 
not a house is left on the place." A Mr. Powell also, partner 
of Mr. Bolland of the Bananas, urged and aided the American, 
Mariner, in his designs, and shared the booty he procured from 
this place. 

' I have already given you some traits of the conduct of the 
natives towards us. Except taking away whatever they could 
lay their hands on, which was naturally to be expected, the 
natives below us have behaved in an unexceptionable, and 
even in a friendly manner. The conduct of those above has 
been far otherwise. At the palaver, which will shortly be 
held, I mean to make demands of indemnification, and to fix 
by writings the business of our lands, and every other disputed 

• The conduct of the Settlers is a subject still more interest- 
ing. During the stay of the French it was unusually kind and 
even affectionate toward us, so much better is the human mind 
fitted to bear and to improve by adversity than prosperity. 
But we had not been delivered two days from the fear of our 
enemies than they found out one day that I had betrayed the 
place to the French ; another day, that I had surrendered the 
place in the hope of being able to save the buildings inhabited 
by ourselves by my sacrificing them, their families, and their 
property to the French ; again, that I had strongly solicited the 
French Commodore to carry them all off; again, that there had 
been found in the stores a great variety of articles intended by 
the Company as presents to the Settlers, but which I had with- 
held from them. In short, not a day passed without some 
report equally idle, which did not indeed disturb my quiet in 
any shape, but which kept the Settlers' minds uneasy and 
agitated. With all this, except in some trifling instances, no 
insults have been given us. We have indeed kept ourselves 
much aloof from them, which is one reason why the outward 
respect they had been used to pay us has not been grossly 
violated ; but the barrier which restrains them I believe to be 
very thin indeed. 


'Our church, which is made to contain about five hundred 
people, will be ready for preaching in next Sunday. The 
church has been entirely deserted for some time .past by the 
whole body of Methodists following Moses Wilkinson on 
account, they alleged, of the ill conduct of Mr. Jones who 
generally preached there ; but as they absent themselves also 
from Mr. Langlands' ministrations, I should rather think on 
account of the wholesome truths they should hear there. These 
form a firm body of malcontents, united under leaders notorious 
for their discontent. 

* Many good effects, however, have arisen from all our mis- 
fortunes, which it would be wrong to pass over. They have 
opened the people's eyes to the folly of having their whole 
dependence placed on the wages received for labour given to 
the Company. This has excited among many a strong spirit 
of industry, and emigrations into the country are multiplying 
daily. Even the hills, so long regarded with contempt and 
dislike, are now thought favourably of; and I expect the 
present dry season will make a greater revolution in our woods 
and mountains than the ravages the revolutionary detachment 
have made in our town. We have learnt too how great are our 
internal resources, and shall of course feel less anxiety on 
the score of supplying the Colony with food than we have 
yet done. 

. * We need not inform you that we are in want of every 
necessary and comfort of life. The vessels you now have in 
the country are only three, and they are destitute of every- 
thing. We are totally without arms and ammunition of every 
kind. The supply for the Colony may at all events be con- 
fined to necessaries. Provisions, tools, household furniture, and 
utensils, and good and cheap clothing, not omitting flannels 
and mattresses, such as are used on board ships, are also much 

' The destruction of the Isles de Los and Bance Island, and 
the capture of almost all the slave-ships on the coast, 
have of course given a severe blow to the Slave Trade, and, 
notwithstanding the Company's losses, have brightened their 


Freetown^ February 9, 1795. 

My dear Sister, — I often please myself with taking a peep 
at the Temple with my mind's eye. I accompany you and 
your good man through the delightful task of planting and 
watering the tree of life in the hearts of your children. I 


observe them intermit their attention, and my ear sweetly 
vibrates to the sound of * Mamma, where 's my Uncle Zachary ? * 
Many, nay, not many I trust, years may intervene ere I be 
sheltered under your roof; but whenever it shall please God to 
give me an opportunity of thanking Him for having restored 
me to the sight of you and yours, I shall be gratified to find 
that the children have not forgot me. If in little Lydia's 
attention to the arrangement of her tea equipage, or in the 
midst of Tom's more manly amusements, you can find a vacant 
moment, forget not to whisper into their ears, that I love them 
with almost a father's love, and pray for them, perhaps, with 
half a father's ardour. The paltry piece of silver you will find 
enclosed may surprise you. It is the value I fix to it, paltry as 
it is, which has tempted me to send it you. Preserve it safely. 
It is a tribute of acknowledgment which I received on board a 
Guinea ship for a tear shed in pity for the sorrows of a poor 
mother torn from an only child. Her superior air attracted my 
notice. She had picked up a little English. 'My husband,' 
said she, * lost his all by gaming ; he was forced to sell me.' 

* Left your children behind ? ' * Yes,' replied the poor creature 
with streaming eyes, and raised one finger, as an indication of 
the number. It was at the Isles de Los the incident happened. 

* Carry me back to Sierra Leone,' said she, * and I will serve 
you for ever. I can sew, I can wash, I can do anything.' To 
soften the bitterness of a refusal, I told her to be comforted : a 
few weeks past, and she would arrive in a country where some 
kind master would reconcile her to her loss, and where she 
would not be likely again to be separated from her children. She 
wept ; she then took several rings from her finger, and after 
burnishing them up as well as she could, she presented me 
with the best of them. I declined it, and took in the stead that 
which I now send you. A white handkerchief marked with my 
name was all I had to give her. She accepted it with silent 
thankfulness, and used it to dry her tears. 

I have enjoyed moderate health since being on the African 
coast, but I am already so metamorphosed that you would 
scarce know me were you to see me. My face has regained its 
tropical colour, and my hair is cropped close to my head. We 
live very comfortably, although deprived of the converse of the 
fain I fear if my exile continues for five years longer, that I 
shall be unfit for the society of any woman who will not like 
your friend Miss Sykes ^ attach little value to a bow. Neither 
the company of African Princesses, nor the courts of African 
men, exhibit any striking lessons* of politeness and refinement. 

* Afterwards Mrs. Henry Thornton. 


I hope, however, on my return to England, to find that there 
is one name written down in the book of fate, which will be 
sunk in mine, and whose possessor will be content for my sake 
to encounter even Africa's burning clime. 

May the God of life and love give his blessing to you and the 
dear little ones. — Your affectionate brother, 

Z. Macaulay. 

After perusing these pages no surprise will be excited by 
Macaulay's health failing under the continual strain of anxiety 
and overwork. For some months he struggled bravely against 
giving way to illness, and continued to bear up until the re- 
organisation of the Colony after its disasters from internal 
disaffection and foreign invasion had been fairly completed. 
He then gladly accepted the proposal of the Court of Directors 
that he should return to England for a short time to recruit his 
strength, and to confer with them upon the affairs of Sierra 
Leone; and that Mr. Dawes should come out to take tem- 
porary charge during his absence, an excellent arrangement 
which smoothed away all difficulties. 

But the mode of his return home was singularly character- 
istic of the man. Instead of availing himself of the very modest 
luxuries offered by a passage in one of the vessels in the service 
of the Company, Macaulay determined to make the voyage, 
for as great a distance as was possible, in a slave-ship; and, 
regardless of his invalid state, to embrace this opportunity of 
judging at close quarters of the situation and treatment of 
newly captured Africans on their passage to the West Indies. 
In taking this course it is clear that he acted with perfect 
simplicity, and without the slightest idea of self-sacrifice : nor 
does the matter ever seem to have presented itself either to him, 
or to his friends in England, as calling for comment and ad- 
miration. Thornton, Babington, and the rest of the allied band 
looked upon his action as the natural outcome of the principles 
which they all professed, and as a plain call of duty, which any 
one of them would have obeyed without hesitation if placed in 
similar circumstances. 

The vessel was the Anna^ bound to Barbados, and was over- 
crowded with slaves, so that there was no room on board for 
any passenger of any description. Of all passengers, as may 
easily be imagined, the Governor of Sierra Leone would be the 
most unwelcome; but Macaulay, with the quiet pertiaacity 


which distinguished him, overcame every obstacle, and took 
his passage on the vessel. 

^May 5, 1795. — We went on board in the evening to view 
the accommodations. The captain told us we should see that 
a slave-ship was a very different thing from what it had been 
reported. The slaves had all been put below, but he was re- 
solved to convince us of the truth of his statement. He 
accordingly said a few words to the women, to which they 
replied with three cheers and a laugh. He went forward on 
the main deck and spoke the same words to the men, who 
made the same reply. " Now," said he, " are you not convinced 
that Mr. Wilberforce has conceived very improperly of slave- 

* He informed us that he had had a mutiny of his crew, and 
an insurrection of his slaves, but he added that I need be under 
no apprehensions now, for he kept such a guard upon the slaves 
as would baffle all their efforts should they attempt to rise. 
He showed me where my cot was to hang, and said he hoped 
I should not find any inconvenience from a few small slaves 
sleeping below it. ** The smell," he said, " would be unpleasant 
for a few days ; but when we had got into the trade-winds it 
would no longer be perceived." 

* May 6. — On going on board this morning I found another 

slave captain, B , in conversation with the captain of the 

Anna. "I have lost four slaves already," said our captain, 
"and all owing to that rascal who has palmed himself off on 
me for a surgeon. The fellow has killed them. As soon as 
I get home I shall apply to Mr. Wilberforce to prosecute 

Mr. of Liverpool, who recommended him to me." " I have 

a fellow of a surgeon too," said B , "who has killed two 

slaves for me, but I was resolved not to put up tamely with 
the loss. When he killed the second I called him aft, and in- 
quired the cause of the slave's death, and what medicine had 
been administered. I then asked him if the medicine which 
he had given was a good one. He said, * Yes, very good for 
that particular complaint' I told him, * I do not believe you, 
but I shall soon see,' and with that I prepared a double dose 
of it, and poured it down the rascal's throat." 

*At two in the afternoon the ship got under weigh, and 
proceeded with a favourable wind. The slaves had a very 
unhealthy look, being meagre, dirty, and without one exception 
scorbutic. There were on board one hundred and seventy male 
slaves and seventy females. Four slaves had already died. 

* May 7. — I observed one woman handcuffed, and inquired 
the cause. I found she had lately attempted to drown herself. 


and for this misdemeanour she had received a severe punish- 
ment, and was still handcuffed as an example to the rest 

* About midnight I was waked by a great noise in the cabin, 
which arose from one of the slaves being ill. The surgeon was 
called, but his applications were fruitless, as the woman died in 
about two hours. 

^ May 8. — The men slaves were brought on deck. They 
seemed extremely dispirited, and drooped very much. In some 
of their countenances there appeared a settled gloom. The 
captain and the officers seemed to think that they had mischief 
in their minds. 

^ May 23. — I observe the slaves reject their food. The 
officer on duty threatened them with the cat, and then they 
made a show of eating by putting a little rice into their mouths; 
but whenever the officer's back was turned they threw it into 
the sea. 

^ May 24. — The captain again wanted the slaves to dance; 
but they shewed no inclination till the cat was called for. A 
few indeed were content to have the cat smartly applied several 
times before they would so much belie their feelings as to make 
merry when their heart was sad. Some of the women sing 
very sweetly and in a plaintive tone. But the songs which 
accompany their dancing consist only of one stanza, constantly 
repeated, and have little music in them. 

^ May 29, 1795. — To my great joy, about ten o'clock in the 
forenoon the island of Barbados appeared in sight. The slaves 
set up a great shout, but in a few seconds their countenances 
fell. Possibly they thought that some great change was now 
about to take place in their condition, and their ignorance of 
what it might be filled them with painful forebodings. We 
cast anchor about four in the afternoon, soon after which I took 
my leave of the captain and officers, and went ashore. The 
captain's behaviour towards me was very civil and attentive. 
He paid me the compliment never once to swear while I was 
on board, and he also repressed the practice among the officers 
and seamen. I observed, however, when we went ashore, that 
he was much addicted to the vice. 

* From the above account you will conceive that my situation 
could not have been a pleasant one. During the night I hung 
over a crowd of slaves huddled together on the floor, and the 
stench at times was almost beyond endurance. During the 
day, indeed, I had the cabin a good deal to myself, but the 
noise of the slaves on deck was excessive. There was no 
possibility of my having any exercise, as the quarter-deck was 
so fully occupied by the slaves during the day, as to render it 
difficult to move without treading on them. But if, even in 


health, my situation was unpleasant, it was still more so when 
I happened, as was frequently the case, to be much indisposed. 
The dissatisfaction, however, which was ready to arise on such 
occasions received a check from considering that if my state, 
possessed as I was of so many superior comforts ; cheered by 
the hope of soon beholding friends who were dear to me ; with 
various means in my power of amusing my thoughts and 
alleviating my sufferings ; with the consolations also arising 
from religion to support as well as to soothe the mind ; if my 
state, under all these favourable circumstances, was so uncom- 
fortable, what must theirs have been whom I saw around me, 
extended naked on the bare boards ; unable when sick to reveal 
the cause of their complaints; ignorant of the fate which 
awaited them ; filled with fears either of a horrid death or 
a cruel servitude; and without the most distant prospect of 
ever beholding the face of one of those friends or relatives from 
whom they had been forcibly torn. Their cup is full of pure, 
unmingled sorrow, the bitterness of which is unalloyed by 
almost a single ray of hope.' 




From Barbados Macaulay made his way to England, and on his 
arrival found the Babingtons settled at a country-house which 
they had hired for a time near Sidmouth. His sister was in a deli- 
cate state of health, and her doctors had insisted upon her leaving 
her home for a year, and trying the softer climate of Devon- 
shire. This change was a great disappointment to Macaulay, 
who cherished a romantic attachment to Rothley Temple, and 
travelled to Leicestershire, in the November after his arrival, in 
order to spend a few hours at the beloved spot. He writes: 
* To this place I owe myself If there be in me any principles 
for whose rectitude I can appeal to the searcher of hearts, if 
there be in me any desires superior, in reason's estimation, to 
those of the beasts which perish, here were they first called 
into action. It would be hard for me to describe the variety 
of mixed emotions with which I take a retrospect, seated in 
the little parlour,^ of what has passed since I first entered its, 
to me, hallowed bounds/ 

But the circumstance of the Babingtons being at Sidmouth 
was in fact fortunate for him, as the sea air was beneficial to 
his health, and the change of climate and rest soon restored 
him to his usual condition. 

His time also was pleasantly diversified by long and frequent 
visits to Wilberforcc and Henry Thornton, both at their houses 
in London, and at the charming villa which in those years, 
while they were both still unmarried, they shared together at 
Battersea Rise, on the north side of Clapham Common. The 
two friends had adopted this plan to ensure a safe retreat, 
where they could devote themselves without interruption to 
their arduous labours upon the slave question ; and where they 

* The room on the left of the entrance, called by the Babingtons the breakfast 


could pass their Sundays in devotional exercises and quiet 
intercourse with those companions only whose habits and 
opinions were congenial to their own. 

Their precautions to ensure privacy do not appear to have 
been at all superfluous when we peruse the account of their 
daily occupations in the many letters which remain to us. 
But perhaps the most graphic picture is that given in the Life 
of Wilberforce of an ordinary day at his house in Old Palace 

* His breakfast-table was crowded by those who came to him 
on business, or with whom, for any of his plans of usefulness, 
he wished to become personally acquainted. His ante-room 
was thronged from an early hour, and its later tenants only 
quitted it when he himself went out on business. Like every 
other room in his house, it was well stored with books ; and 
experience had led to the exchange of the smaller volumes, 
with which it was originally furnished, for cumbrous folios, 
which could not be carried off by accident in the pocket of 
a coat Its group was often most amusing, and Mrs. Hannah 
More used to liken it to Noah's ark, " full of beasts clean and 
unclean." On one chair sat a Yorkshire constituent, manufac- 
turing or agricultural ; on another a Wesleyan preacher ; on 
another a petitioner for charity, or a House of Commons 
client ; while side by side with a negro, a foreign missionary, 
or a Haytian professor, sat some man of rank who sought a 
private interview. Pitt, and his other parliamentary friends, 
might be found there at dinner before the House. Indeed so 
constant was their resort, that it was asserted, not a little to 
his disadvantage in Yorkshire, that he received a pension for 
entertaining the partisans of the minister. Clarkson, Dickson, 
and other Abolitionists, jocosely named by Pitt Wilberforce's 
white negroes, were his constant inmates, and were employed 
in revising and abridging evidence under his eye.* 

Battersea Rise itself remains still but little altered by the 
encroachments of suburban building, but at that time it was 
situated almost in the country, and the pleasant spacious house, 
wreathed with wistaria and honeysuckle, looked across the 
beautiful lawn to distant vistas of spreading fields and forest 
trees. The interior exhibited for nearly a century the impres- 
sion of the bachelor habits of its early owners. The principal 
sitting-room, a graceful oval room, which the tradition of the 
family asserted was designed by Pitt, instead of being converted 


into the customary drawing-room, retained the bookcases with 
which it was surrounded by Thornton and Wilberforce,and was 
always known as the library. 

There was still one thing wanting to complete Macaulay's 
education, in the opinion of his friends, and that was that he 
should be introduced to Hannah More, with whom, during his 
absence in Sierra Leone, the little confederacy had formed a 
close alliance. Henry Thornton took particular pains that the 
introduction should take place under favourable circumstances, 
and arranged that Macaulay's first visit should include a Sunday, 
the day upon which he could see the schools established by the 
sisterhood, to special advantage. At the time Macaulay made 
the acquaintance of the Miss Mores, they were living at 
Cowslip Green, a cottage about nine miles from Bristol on the 
Cheddar side. 

These ladies were the iive daughters of a Suffolk gentleman, 
who, disappointed of a large inheritance of which he seems to 
have had just expectations, found himself dependent on his own 
exertions for a maintenance. He obtained the mastership of a 
foundation school in the west of England, where he married the 
daughter of a farmer, a woman of sense and considerable natural 
abilities, who exerted herself to procure for her children a 
superior education. The elder daughters, as soon as they were 
grown up, opened at Bristol a boarding-school for young ladies, 
which before long acquired a high reputation; and the two 
youngest of the family, Hannah and Patty, were at first pupils 
and afterwards assistant governesses to their sisters. 

Hannah, who was born in 1745, was from her earliest 
years remarkable for quickness of intelligence and thirst for 
knowledge. As time went on, her varied acquirements and 
lively conversation attracted great attention. Her reputation 
in the neighbourhood of Bristol preceded her to London ; and 
on her first visit to the metropolis in 1774, she was welcomed 
with open arms by the wits and learned ladies of the day, and 
was received at once into the brilliant circle which gathered 
round Sir Joshua Reynolds and Mrs. Montagu. With the 
Garricks she formed a close friendship, and found from that 
time a second home in their house. She must indeed have 
possessed a remarkable power of attracting and retaining 
regard, for during the greater part of her long life she was the 


object of aflFectionate attention to many whose friendship might 
well be esteemed an honour. Her sister, Miss Sally More, tells 
an amusing story of a visit to Dr. Johnson. 

' Miss Reynolds ordered the coach to take us to Dr. Johnson's 
very own house ; yes, Abyssinia's Johnson ! Dictionary 
Johnson ! Rambler's, Idler's, and Irene's Johnson ! Can 
you picture to yourselves the palpitation of our hearts as we 
approached his mansion ! Not finding Johnson in his little 
parlour when we came in, Hannah seated herself in his great 
chair, hoping to catch a little ray of his genius ; when he heard 
it, he laughed heartily, and told her it was a chair on which he 
never sat. He said it reminded him of Boswell and himself 
when they stopped a night at the spot, as they imagined, where 
the Weird Sisters appeared to Macbeth : the idea so worked 
upon their enthusiasm, that it quite deprived them of rest: 
however, they learnt the next morning, to their mortification, 
that they had been deceived, and were quite in another part of 
the country. Miss Reynolds told the Doctor of all our rapturous 
exclamations on the road. He shook his scientific head at 
Hannah, and said, '* She was a silly thing.'" 

On Hannah's return to Bristol she one day said to her sisters. 
' I have been so fed with praise and flattering attentions, that I 
think I will venture to try what is my real value by writing a 
slight poem and offering it to Cadell myself.' The result was the 
publication of Sir Eldred of the Bower and The Bleeding Rock. 
The taste of the present generation has been formed on other 
models, and it is difficult to treat seriously poems of which the 
beauties consist in such passages as the following : 

* Then Birtha faintly rais'd her eye. 
Which long had ceased to stream. 
On Eldred fix'd, with many a sigh, 
Its dim departing beam. 

' The mournful Muse forbears to tell 
How wretched Eldred died : 
She draws the Grecian Painter's veil, 
The vast distress to hide.' 

But at that period these performances excited great admiration. 
Mrs. Montagu writes: *Your Rock will stand unimpaired by 
ages, as eminent as any in the Grecian Parnassus.' Edmund 
Burke read them with pleasure, and they are said to have made 


the best part of his entertainment during a visit to the country. 
Johnson, himself the author of one of the noblest poems in the 
English language, gratified Hannah highly by his praise. She 
wisely says, * To me the best part of his flattery was, that he 
repeats all the best stanzas by heart' A day or two later 
Johnson spent an evening at Garrick's house, and Hannah 
writes: 'Hardly ever spent an evening more pleasantly or 
profitably. Johnson, full of wisdom and piety, was very com- 
municative. Our tea was not over till nine ; we then fell upon 
Sir Eldred\ he read both poems through, suggested some little 
alterations in the first, and did me the honour to write one 
whole stanza ; ^ but in the Rock he has not altered a word.' 
Hannah once asked Garrick why Johnson was so often harsh 
and unkind in his speeches both of and to him. * Why, Nine/ 
replied Garrick, using the familiar name with which he ivas 
accustomed to compliment her playfully as being the embodi- 
ment, in her own person, of the accomplishments of the Nine 
Muses, * it is very natural ; is it not to be expected he should be 
angry, that I, who have so much less merit than he, should have 
had so much greater success ? ' 

.Animated by the approbation she had met with, and by 
Garrick's kind encouragement, Hannah now attempted a bolder 
flight, and produced a five-act tragedy in blank verse entitled 
Percy y to which Garrick contributed a prologue and epilog^ue. 
About this she writes : * The reception of Per<y has exceeded 
my most sanguine wishes. Garrick bids me say that all is as it 
should be.' The success was very great. Hannah tells her 
sisters with just pride : * The author's rights, sale of the copy, 
etc., amounted to near six hundred pounds, and as my friend 
Mr. Garrick has been so good as to lay it out for me on the 
best security, it makes a decent little addition to my small 
income. Cadell confesses that it has had a very great sale, and 
that he shall get a good deal of money by it. The first edition 
was near four thousand, and the second is almost sold.' I^er-cy 
remained a stock play on the stage ; and ten years later, when, 
after the great actor's death, Hannah was paying Mrs. Garrick 
her annual visit, Mrs. Siddons was acting in it. * I dined with 
Sir Joshua, Mr. Burke, and two or three others of that stamp. 
They cried all at once, "Were you not delighted with Mrs, 

^ The stanza beginning ' My scorn has oft.' 


Siddons last night in Percy}*' I replied, "No; for I did not 
see her ! " They would not believe me guilty of such insensi- 
bility, adding, " She did it exquisitely, as the tears of Mr. Fox, 
who sat with us, testified." ' 

Hannah was now fairly launched as a popular author, and 
her name was sufficient to ensure a considerable sale to any 
work. She was tempted to publish a little pastoral drama 
which she had written at the age of seventeen to be acted by 
the pupils of her sisters* school. * I believe Patty will be a great 
fortune at last : for the ninth edition of my present to her, Tke 
Search after Happiness^ is gone to the press. I am really 
shocked at the public taste, which has taken off ten thousand 
copies of a poem which I have not patience to read.' 

By prudence and good management Hannah was before long 
in a position to indulge her strong predilection for the country, 
and she became the happy possessor of a thatched cottage with 
a few acres of ground, which her taste soon converted into a 
charming abode. Horace Walpole, with whom she was a great 
favourite, was delighted with the name, and said Cowslip Green 
was a relation, a cousin at least, to Strawberry Hill. Here she 
was able to follow her predilection for the pursuit of horti- 
culture, and she writes, * I spend almost my whole time in my 
little garden. " From morn to noon, from noon to dewy eve," I 
am employed in raising dejected pinks, and reforming disorderly 

But about this time an important change began to take 
place in Hannah More's views and habits. She seems to have 
been always considered serious by her friends ; and even when 
dazzled by her first introduction into London society, she had 
steadily declined Sunday invitations, declaring herself, as Sally 
More expressed it, * of the Christian faction ' ; and had in con- 
sequence been the object of some kindly ridicule from Horace 
Walpole, who called her Saint Hannah, and joked about her 
being a ' Sunday woman.' On coming to town in 1779 for a 
visit, she found that it had become the fashion among her 
friends to make pilgrimages to the city to attend the preaching 
of John Newton. 

This remarkable man had recently been presented by Mr. 
John Thornton, a benevolent and wealthy London merchant, 
and the father of Henry Thornton, to the rectory of the united 


parishes of St. Mary Woolnoth and St. Mary Woolchurch, 
Lombard Street. He had resigned the curacy of Olney, where 
his friendship had proved a doubtful blessing to Cowper, in 
bitter mortification and disappointment at the failure of his 
efforts, during twelve years of unremitting toil, to improve and 
educate his parishioners. As he himself told his biographer 
Cecil, he believed he never should have quitted Olney had not 
so incorrigible a spirit prevailed in the parish which he had so 
long laboured to reform. The climax came when his efforts to 
put down the custom of bonfires and illuminations on the fifth 
of November led to a riot at Olney. Newton writes : 

* When the day came there was great opposition. Not only 
the worldly and wicked, but I am sorry to say the Baptists in a 
body set themselves against it Many put up candles who had 
not done so in former years, and those who had, doubled their 
number. This gave encouragement to the sons of Belial, and 
when night came on there was much riot and confusion. A 
wild and lawless mob paraded the streets, breaking windows 
and extorting moi^ey. My house was expressly threatened. 
Mrs. Newton was so terrified that I was forced to send an 
embassy and beg peace. A soft message, and a shilling to the 
captain of the mob, secured his protection, and we slept in 
safety. Alas, tell it not in Gath, I am ashamed of the story.' 

Newton entered upon his new field of work with high hopes 
of being useful in it, and he might well feel gratification at the 
effect which he produced upon Hannah More. She made one 
of a party who went to hear him preach, and his sermon made 
so strong an impression upon her mind that she sought his 
acquaintance,'and soon embraced the decided Evangelical views 
which he advocated. She also adopted at the same time, with 
all the warmth of her enthusiastic nature, the opinions on the 
Slave Trade which Newton was endeavouring to inculcate upon 
his London audience with all the earnestness of a man who had 
himself witnessed the evils which he denounces. He writes at 
this time to Hannah More : * My account of the Slave Trade has 
the merit of being true. I think this infamous traffic cannot 
last long ; but should it still be persevered in, I think it will 
constitute a national sin, and of a very deep dye. I should 
tremble for the consequences; for whatever politicians may 
think, I assuredly know there is a righteous judge who governs 
the earth.* An acquaintance with Wilberforce and with his 


friends Henry Thornton and Babington soon followed, with all 
of whom Hannah formed an intimate friendship, and from that 
time her pen and great influence were enlisted on the side of 
the Abolitionists. 

In 1789 Hannah More's sisters were enabled by the fruits of 

their unceasing industry to retire from their anxious and 

laborious employment, and from this date the five Miss Mores 

divided their time between Cowslip Green and a house at Bath, 

in Pulteney Street, which they had built for themselves. The 

union between them was very close, and entire harmony reigned 

among them during their long lives. Dr. Johnson once made 

Hannah and Sally More tell him their history ; and when they 

had related how they were born with more desires than guineas ; 

and how as years increased their appetites, the cupboard at 

home had begun to grow too small to gratify them ; and how 

they had set out to seek their fortunes, and found a great house 

with nothing in it; and how it was like to remain so, till, looking 

into their knowledge-boxes, they happened to find a 'little 

laming'; and how at last, by giving a little of this 'little 

larning ' to those who had less, they had got a good store of 

gold in return ; he exclaimed with warm approbation, ' I love 

you both — I love you all five ; I will come to Bristol on 

purpose to see you. What ! five women live happily together ! 

God for ever bless you ; you live lives to shame duchesses ! ' 

His warmth and tenderness were such that the sisters were 

quite affected by the scene. 

The first use the Miss Mores made of their leisure was to 
establish schools for the instruction of the poor, in the country 
within twenty miles around Cowslip Green. The ignorance 
and prejudice which they had to encounter in their charitable 
enterprise are scarcely credible to this generation ; and it is 
related that the farmers opposed the innovation from patriotic 
motives, saying that the country in which the ladies were intro- 
ducing this disturbance had never prospered since religion had 
been brought into it by the monks of Glastonbury. The diffi- 
culty they had also in finding decent teachers was very great ; 
and, as an instance of the state of neglect into which that part 
of Somersetshire had sunk, Hannah More mentions that there 
were thirteen adjoining parishes in their neighbourhood without 
so much as a resident curate among them. The sisters were 



largely supplied by their friends with the funds necessary for 
their arduous undertaking, and Henry Thornton, in particular, 
seems to have given them an unlimited credit on his purse. In 
a beautiful letter to Wilberforce, Hannah More describes the 
opening of one of the schools in a district so notorious for crime 
and vice that it was nicknamed Botany Bay. 

* It was an affecting sight. Several of the grown-up youths 
had been tried at the last assizes ; three were the children of a 
person lately condemned to be hanged ; many are thieves, and 
all ignorant, profane, and vicious beyond belief. When the 
clergyman, a hard man, who is also the magistrate, saw one 
hundred and seventy of these creatures, whom he had seldom 
seen but to commit or punish in some way, kneeling round us, 
he burst into tears. I can do them little good, I fear ; but the 
grace of God can do all. Your friend Henry Thornton thought 
we ought to try.' 

Macaulay, as was to be expected, was greatly interested by 
the work that the Mores were carrying on. Mr. and Mrs. 
Babington were already upon terms of close intimacy with the 
sisters, and had visited them several times during their residence 
at Sidmouth, and Macaulay was quickly admitted by Hannah 
and Patty More into their innermost circle of friendship, and 
was a frequent and welcome guest both at Pulteney Street and 
Cowslip Green. The result was that his feelings soon became 
strongly interested in a lady who resided under their roof. 

Miss Selina Mills, who was born in 1767, was the daughter 
of a member of the Society of Friends who had been formerly 
a bookseller in Bristol. Although Mr. and Mrs. Mills belonged 
to the Quaker persuasion their children were members of the 
Church of England ; and Selina, who had been educated at tlie 
school presided over by the Miss Mores, was a great favourite 
of theirs, and lived almost entirely with them, appearingr to 
have been regarded by them as a sixth sister. She is said to 
have been extremely pretty and attractive; her temper ^iras 
sweet, and her disposition retiring and reserved even to timidity. 
Macaulay soon became attached to her; but unwilling to 
engage her heart while he had no prospect before him but that 
of a life spent at Sierra Leone, he determined not to betra.y his 
feelings, and to quit England without attempting to dra^r any 
avowal from Miss Mills of the state of her affections. 

Similar resolutions are often made, and generally made to be 


broken, but Macaulay was of an uncommon character, and his 
sense of duty was unusually strict There is every appearance 
of probability that he would have retained his self-command 
to the end but for the peculiar course of conduct which was 
adopted by the Miss Mores. He was to sail from Portsmouth 
in February 1796, and the Chairman and Court of Directors 
required his almost constant attendance in London till then, 
that they might consult him upon matters touching the welfare 
of their Colony, and also that he might, in addition to his 
other duties, complete the arrangements for the Wesleyan 
Methodist Mission to the Foulah nation. The Directors had 
undertaken that this Mission should have a free passage in the 
Calypso^ one of their vessels, and should be started in Africa 
under the auspices of their Governor. 

Macaulay, however, was deluged with letters from Hannah 

More and her sister Patty, insisting that it was a case of 

imperative necessity for him to make an expedition to take 

leave of them before so long an absence. He felt that the 

friendship with which they had honoured him demanded some 

concession to their reiterated entreaties, and he accordingly 

arranged to spend a short time at Bath with them. The 

Babingtons, who were anxious to enjoy as much of his society 

as possible before his departure, agreed to come up from 

Sidmouth to meet him at Bath, and proposed then to travel 

back with him to town, and to stay on at Battersea Rise, where 

he was living with Thornton and Wilberforce. 


Bathy January 14, 1796. 
Dear Sir, — I have only two minutes to say that we look 
forward to the hope of seeing you and Mr. and Mrs. Babington 
on Monday next with no small pleasure. It would have added 
very much to our satisfaction could we have secured to our- 
selves the society of the whole little party under our own roof, 
but these inhospitable town houses deny one such a pleasant 
privilege. My merry sister — I need not add that I mean Sally 
— has been on the scout ever since your letter came to look for 
lodgings, hitherto with little success, Bath being full crowded 
running over. The Queen's birthday, however, being luckily 
that which you have fixed upon for coming, there is little 


doubt but many neighbouring apartments will on that day be 
emptied of their inhabitants, and you may depend on our 
securing some place of reception for>you. At all events you 
must drive straight hither on Monday. You will, I hope, pass 
that evening and your following days with us, and we will try 
that your lodging may be as near us as possible, though 
perhaps not quite as near as we could wish. 

Miss Mills has been busy at work transcribing your Com- 
municant We much approve what you have done, but have 
ventured to abridge in a few instances. Pray do not forget to 
bring her previous performance, as I daresay she would be 
miserable to have it lost, and I must return the manuscript— 
I am, in great haste, your obliged and faithful H. MORE. 

A circumstance which considerably increased the difficulties 
of the situation was that it had come to Macaulay's know- 
ledge, shortly before starting for Bath, that Mrs. Hannah More 
suspected him of a preference for her young friend. He writes 
about this : — 

*The particularity of Thornton's inquiries with respect to 
the state of my mind after his return from Cowslip Green, 
convinced me that what I said to Mrs. More on the last occasion 
of our meeting, rather unguardedly, and into which she herself 
indeed betrayed me, had led to important conclusions. I 
never dreamed of any other quarter from which surmises were 
likely to arise, as I could not suppose that Home had dis- 
regarded my injunctions, or that he could act so imprudently 
as to suffer sentiments to go abroad as mine, which I told him 
I had resolved to suppress as unfavourable to my repose. 
Indeed I had not the vanity to entertain even a hope that Miss 
Mills regarded me with the smallest preference, nay I greatly 
mistrusted my being possessed of a common chance of making 
myself agreeable to her, even with opportunities which I saw 
were not to be expected. I was exceedingly slow to credit 
the existence of a reciprocal regard, and even Babington's 
acute conclusions did not give me any comfortable assurance 
on this head/ 

Macaulay finally decided that, under the special circum- 
stances, the mpst straightforward course for him now to pursue 
was to speak frankly to the Miss Mores ; and as the time at 
his disposal was so limited, he took an early opportunity after 
his arrival in Pulteney Street of requesting Miss Hannah to 
favour him with a few minutes' conversation on a subject, he 
said, that concerned him very nearly. * I think it might be 


better not/ she answered, * for your uneasiness will be, I fear, 
increased instead of lessened.' She was, however, unable to 
avoid the interview, for having once broken the ice Macaulay 
was resolute for an explanation. Hannah More cannot be 
acquitted of some duplicity in her dealings with him ; for 
actuated by the anxiety she felt to spare pain to her beloved 
sister Patty, whose jealous affection for Miss Mills would, as 
she was well aware, brook no rival, she gave him to understand 
that the object of his regard was entirely indifferent to him, 
and that her feelings towards him did not exceed the limits of 
ordinary friendship. Hannah More probably was also strongly 
influenced by the opinion that the necessity of a residence on 
the West Coast of Africa, in the event of a marriage with Mac- 
aulay, made any engagement with him undesirable for her 
favourite- She had no opposition, however, to fear, for Macaulay 
at once acquiesced in the propriety of her decision as soon as 
he was convinced that any suffering that it entailed would fall 
upon him and upon him alone. He writes : — 

•The colloquy certainly did not lessen my uneasiness. It 
made me, however, more resolute to make a painful sacrifice of 
feeling to what I thought at the time to be my duty, namely, to 
avoid giving Selina any intimation, direct or indirect, of the 
state of my mind. I* afterwards understood that her looks 
during dinner might have betrayed, even to a superficial 
observer, that I was not the only person at table whose mind 
was affected, but I scarce dared to throw a glance that way, and 
so fearful was I of transgressing the limits I had virtually pro- 
mised Miss Hannah to observe, that I did not even dare to ask 
for Selina or to mention her name on coming away. Little did 
I suppose that the short interval between my quitting the par- 
lour and stepping into the carriage would change the whole 
course of my views, and would discover to me secrets which, 
in my then situation, I should never have thought of prying 
into. 1 love to dwell on this unexpected occurrence, because, 
taken in connection with other circumstances, it confirms me in 
an opinion, founded indeed mainly on other and better grounds, 
that our first meeting, as well as every subsequent incident in 
which we had each a share, was under a supreme direction. I 
was saved from years of perplexity and the most distressing 
doubts upon a point which more materially than all others 
affected my temporal happiness.* 

The unexpected occurrence alluded to by Macaulay is said 


to have been his accidentally seeing Miss Mills in a room 
downstairs alone and weeping bitterly, having been carefully 
excluded from the leave-taking in the drawing-room by the 
strategy fof the Miss Mores. The sight of her distress swept 
away all barriers of prudence. He gave expression to feelings 
which he had hitherto repressed successfully; and in the 
surprise and excitement of the moment, she responded with a 
frankness and warmth which assured him of the regard which 
he had inspired in her breast. A few moments sufficed to 
establish a complete understanding between them ; and as it 
was necessary for Macaulay to go off at once to London Avith 
the Babingtons, they agreed, after a hurried consultation, that 
he should return as soon as possible to Bath to break the 
tidings of the engagement to the sisterhood, as Miss Mills felt 
quite unequal to facing alone the wrath which she well knew 
the news would excite. 
Macaulay writes : — 

'At that time I remember it was almost an hour before I 
could persuade myself that what I had seen was not some 
dream, some delusion of the fancy. I was quite overwhelmed 
with the rapid influx of new reflections, new hopes and fears. 
I was placed suddenly in a situation of which a few minutes 
before I had not the most distant expectation, nay, of which I 
had studiously banished every hope. How much at this time 
did I owe to Babington and my sister; their more than 
brotherly tenderness, their affecting sympathy, their soothing 
concern, and, above all, their heavenly conversation did much 
to calm the tumult of my thoughts. But the effect of the 
assurance of Selina's affection was great on my mind and even 
on my health.* 

The Babingtons behaved on this occasion with their usual 
kindness, and agreed to hasten the day fixed for their return 
to Sidmouth, so as to visit Bath on their way, and do all that 
lay in their power to reconcile the Miss Mores to the match. 
But Patty More, the youngest of the sisters, who had devoted 
herself to Miss Mills with that vehemence of regard which 
frequently becomes a torment to its object, had already ap- 
parently scented danger ; and now the agitation which Mac- 
aulay's visit had evidently awakened in the mind of her friend 
confirmed her suspicions, and she soon contrived to unmask 
the offender, who was helpless before the indignant questions 


poured upon her. Consequently when, in a day or two, 
Macaulay again presented himself at Pulteney Street in order 
that he and Miss Mills might make their joint confession, he 
met with a very different reception fropi any he had experienced 
before from the Miss Mores. His account, temperate and 
guarded as it was, of the stormy scenes he had to face, raised 
the indignation of Mrs. Babington, whose impetuous nature 
had not gone through the severe discipline which had subdued 
her brother's character and from which he had acquired the 
virtue of infinite patience, and who embraced his cause with 
passionate sympathy. 
Macaulay writes to his sister : — 

• In truth I have sometimes been surprised at what I cannot 
but now think the infatuation of the Miss Mores' conduct, 
considering what they knew and what they thought, in inviting 
me, certainly unnecessarily, to their house, and afterwards in 
insisting that you, Babington, and myself should, as it were, 
domesticate ourselves with them. I am the more surprised 
and chagrined at the extraordinary turn which Miss Patty's 
mind seems to have taken, as there was a warmth in her 
friendship, and a frankness in her manner which quite charmed 
me. I asked her once a few questions about Selina, chiefly 
with a view of discovering from her manner whether she at all 
suspected the state of my mind. She received my questions 
with such a repulsive coldness as quite surprised me, and made 
me soon quit the subject. One thing indeed I regret having 
said, because it was silly. It was an involuntary expression of 
surprise that those women who possessed the greatest share of 
intrinsic worth did not seem to possess that degree of estima- 
tion in the eyes of men which they merited. I could have bit 
my tongue with vexation, but the words were irrevocable.' 

Hannah More, however, began soon to recover some sense 
of what was due to Macaulay, and she endeavoured to mitigate 
to a certain extent the situation in which he was, and which, in 
writing to his sister, he says he can only describe by likening it 
to being placed on tenterhooks. In the face of Miss Patty's 
determined opposition. Miss Mills may be credited with con- 
siderable courage for persisting in acknowledging her prefer- 
ence ; but she was sufficiently under the influence of the Miss 
Mores to reject firmly any idea of accompanying him to Sierra 
Leone, and to be persuaded to insist upon the engagement 
being kept secret from her father and her own family. This 


concealment was very distasteful to Macaulay; but his time 
was too short to admit of much leisure for discussion. He 
accordingly yielded the point, and after taking farewell of his 
betrothed, left for London, on the ist of February 1796, in 
obedience to the wishes of the Court of Directors, having only 
been absent for four days. * He writes : — 

' But after all I left Bath far from satisfied with the decision 
in which I had reluctantly acquiesced. I left it too with an 
impression, which I strive to combat, that our friends have not 
dealt kindly and candidly by me, and this makes me a little 
uneasy. I lay to my own charge no small blame for being so 
selfish as to admit such an impression, arising probably from 
nothing else than their having opposed unreasonable wishes 
of mine.' 

The Babingtons, with their accustomed attention to Macau- 
lay's wishes, had already started for Bath, and met him at 


Marlborough^ February i, 1796, half-past 11 at night. 

My dear Selina, — I found Babington and my sister ex- 
pecting my arrival with a most friendly solicitude to know the 
result of my visit to Bath, and I received their congratulations 
on my improved looks, and on those prospects of future happi- 
ness which are open to me. It was truly grateful to hear 
friends so dear to me express for you the regard and affection 
due to a sister. It is their purpose to see you on their way 
home ; and you may rest assured that our secret is safe with 

Before I close this first letter to you I would once more pour 
out my heartfelt acknowledgments to God for having indulged 
me in the wish which lay nearest to my heart, that of finding 
on your part a return of that love, which has no doubt been a 
source of some pain and uneasiness, but to which I now look 
with fond expectations of happiness, which I trust God in his 
own good time will realise. 

It is now near midnight. May kind angels guard your bed ; 
may God be your Father and Jesus your friend; and may you 
ever remain assured that no distance of time and place shall 
diminish the love I bear you, the earnest desire I have to 
contribute to your happiness, and the real and unfeigned attach- 
ment which warms the breast of your most affectionate and 
faithful Z. Macaulay. 


I Kin^s Arms Yard, Coleman Street^ London^ 
February 7, 1796, 12 at night. 
My dear Selina, — I sit down to write to you at an hour when 
I am not in any danger of interruption, and would premise that I 
have no wish to revive a discussion in the issue of which I have 
acquiesced, however my judgment may have differed from yours. 
I only wish, for fear of misapprehension, to convey to you the 
real state of some facts which may reach your ears from another 
quarter, perhaps a little mutilated. The following is the substance 
of what I told Babington of our affairs when I met him at 
Marlborough. I said that you had consented to be mine, but 
that you had, at the same time, satisfied me that you could give 
me no hope of your marrying with a view to accompany me to 
Africa. I added, from myself, that this state of the case did 
not preclude you from using your discretion in deciding at a 
future period according to fresh circumstances which might 
arise, and that therefore the question might be considered in a 
measure as open. I wish- you to say whether I have been 
accurate in my statement, as I find by a letter from Babington, 
that in talking over the matter with Mrs. Hannah More, he 
found she differed materially from him in her view of the case. 

I think it right to give you these facts, as it is probable Mrs. 
Hannah More may take notice of the difference of opinion 
which existed between her and Babington, and may thereby 
cause you some uneasiness. We know so little what a day may 
bring forth to vary the nature of our obligations and the current 
of our feelings, that unconditional resolutions respecting the 
exact line of conduct to be pursued at remote periods are as far 
as possible to be avoided. That you are persuaded your duty 
now calls you to determine against going to Africa is to me a 
sufficient reason for your adopting that determination ; but if I 
know anything of Selina Mills, I know that, should she ever be 
equally persuaded it was her duty to resolve on going to Africa, 
she would not hesitate a moment. 

You will not readily suspect me of wishing to lessen the great 
obligations we are under to the Miss Mores, or to detract from 
the singular excellence of their characters. But I cannot help 
thinking them outrageously violent on several points. Should 
you at all have made a similar remark, your opinion may be 
strengthened by knowing mine, and you may be disposed to 
exercise your judgment even when it opposes theirs. One of 
the points I allude to is the effect of marriage in narrowing the 
heart, and hardening it against the impressions of former friend- 
ships, whence they draw conclusions hostile to marriage itself. 

> Mr. Henry Thornton's town house at that time, before he moved to Palace Yard, 
near the Houses of Parliament. 


If we consult history, however, we shall find that however some 
minds may have attained in the retirement of the cloister an 
uncommon degree of purity, that no set of men, nor any modes 
of life, have ever produced examples of ferocious relentless 
cruelty, of hearts steeled against every tender feeling, equal to 
what have appeared among monks of the Romish Church. But 
to return from this digression into which I have been rather 
surprised, I would mention another point on which they 
express themselves too strongly, I mean the question I put 
respecting the propriety of making the state of our affair known 
to your father. Miss Patty observed, in speaking of it, * Miss 
Mills would rather put an end to the affair, I am sure, than 
mention it to her father.' For my own part I acquiesced in the 
reasons you assigned for avoiding any communication with him 
on the subject, and should not have perhaps again spoken of it, 
had it not afforded me an opportunity of exemplifying what I 
meant, when I ventured to say, that in some cases there appears 
in these dear ladies a degree of violence a little unwarrantable. 
I am sure I have cause to make every allowance for their 
warmth when I consider that a strong affection for you excites 
it, and when I consider how prone I myself am to throw the 
make-weights of strong and. hyperbolical expressions into that 
side of the scale which I am anxious should preponderate. If 
the violence arising from an ardent mind be a blot in them, how 
ought a sense of it to humble me, whose ardour in general wastes 
itself on objects which, compared with those they pursue, arc 
light as air. I fear, Selina, did you know but half the weak- 
nesses under which I groan, that esteem you have expressed for 
me would quickly vanish. While every person I see around 
me shows me my deficiency, more especially in the great grace 
of humility, I still make no progress in increasing my measure 
of it. Keep in mind that this is one of the things I most stand 
in need of. Our business is not to estimate our state by our 
success or by our reputation, but by the soundness of the 
principles on which we act. While sure that we are walking in 
the straight and narrow way, though we should seem to have 
no fruit of our labours, yet we shall not spend our strength in 
vain. St. Paul laboured, no doubt hoping to succeed. Those 
who labour for Christ's sake are happy in doing their Load's 
will whether they succeed or not. Those who labour for the 
sake of success become proud of themselves if they meet with 
it ; while, if they fail, or have a less extensive sphere of useful- 
ness assigned them than they think themselves calculated to 
fill, they become discontented with their lot, and feel disposed 
after a few struggles to abandon as hopeless the cause they 
have taken in hand. — Ever yours, Z. Macaulay. 



Sidmouth^ February 9, 1796. 
Dear Brother, — My anxiety on account of your affair with 
Miss Mills was not at all more than might have been expected 
from a sister who dearly loves you ; but Mr. Babington's was 
more singular, for I think it far surpassed mine, though in 
general he has so great a command over his feelings. He was 
so disturbed on your account as to quite disturb his sleep and 
affect hi^ health, and I believe would almost have sacrificed 
anything to have been able to put matters in a comfortable 
train for you. He will, I am sure, have great pleasure during 
your absence in doing anything that he thinks will be likely in 
the least degree to contribute to the comfort of Miss Mills. 
I already feel quite the affection of a sister for her. Do desire 
her to be open with us, and assure her that we shall have real 
pleasure in being of use to her in any way, and I hope she will 
spend her summer with us. 

She behaved very pleasingly, and with great propriety when 
we called. At first she was evidently considerably agitated, 
but very soon recovered herself. I am very glad that you have 
put her upon her guard with respect to the Miss Mores. I 
believe them to be very good women, but they certainly see 
things much too strongly. I cannot think that they have acted 
with perfect candour in this affair, but I shall be very careful 
how I say so. 

I had a letter from Miss Sykes ^ the other day. She says : 
' I was made very happy by observing so great a change in 
your excellent brother's countenance and appearance yesterday 
when he was so kind as to call and take leave of me. Highly 
as I have ever respected him, I think I never prized his worth 
so much as at that moment. He showed the line that the real 
Christian will always take; composed on the eve of such a 
destination ; cheerful, though separated from those he most 
loved ; his conduct forcibly told me that the servant of God 
must prefer the cause of religion to every selfish feeling, and 
when he left the room I seriously examined my heart whether, 
if with all the gratitude of which I talk so much, I could have 
gone and done likewise.' 

Mr. came hither on Monday last, and before he 

went away he opened his mind quite about his having some 
thoughts of making an offer to one of the Miss Heys,* which he 
means to do very soon. He asked me whether I thought Miss 

' Miss Sykes, an intimate friend of Mrs. Babington, was at this time engaged to 
Mr. Henry Thornton. Their union proved a very happy one. 

- Mr. William Hey of Leeds, an eminent surgeon, was an intimate friend of Mr. 


Hey possessed as much of the meek and quiet spirit of which 
the Scripture speaks, as Miss Rebecca Hey did. I told him I 
really thought she did. He then said that that would decide 
him as to whom he should offer himself, for Miss Hey had his 
affections ; but if it had been determined by those who knew a 
good deal of these ladies that Miss Rebecca Hey was superior 
to her sister in that respect, he should have thought it his duty 
to have given the preference to Miss Rebecca. He read to me 
part of a letter he had just received from Mr. Venn/ who said 
that Mr. Thornton and Miss Sykes were soon to be married, 
which he believed to be a favourite scheme of Mr. and Mrs. 
Babington's ; but that he must say, the more he thought of it, 
the more strongly he was convinced that it would be a happy 
and providential union for both parties. — ^Your affectionate 
sister, jEAN BABINGTON. 


February 9, 1796, Midnight. 

My dear Selina, — The fascination of Mr. Wilberforces 
conversation has detained me late to-night, and about an hour 
ago I received an abrupt intimation that I had to proceed to 
Portsmouth at seven o'clock to-morrow morning, as the wind 
was fair. I hasten therefore to tell you that Mr. Thornton 
insisted upon my passing the day at his house with Miss Sykes. 
She takes a lively interest in whatever concerns us, and she 
and Mr. Thornton hope to prevail on you to become their 
inmate whenever you visit London. 

I passed an hour yesterday evening with Miss Horne.- 
* I am doomed to be a wanderer/ she said, and burst into tears. 
I was much affected by her visible agitation, and would gladly 
have known the cause of her distress, but the thing seemed so 
tender that I feared to touch it, and turned to another topic. 
Before this took place she had promised to be as secret as the 
grave on every point in which you are at all implicated. 

I sent a few books yesterday by the coach. The sermons on 
the evidences of Christianity I think useful to put into the 
hands of any of your doubting inquiring friends. The small 
hymn-book was my companion in hunger and nakedness and 
distress. We must no doubt make many allowances for the 
peculiarities of Methodism ; but on the whole, as the frequent 
marks of approbation will show you, it pleases me much. One 
of them, beginning, * Give to the winds thy fears,' has often 
cheered my mind as I viewed the desolation caused by the 

^ The Rector of Clapham. 

' Sister of Mr. Home, formerly Chaplain at Sierra Leone. 


French visit. And another, *God of my life whose gracious 
power/ ^ scarce ever recurs to my mind without causing it to 
swell with grateful recollection. 

Portsmouth^ February 12, 1796. 
The weather continues boisterous and the wind unfavourable, 
so that the prospect of sailing is still distant. This place is 
certainly a very uncomfortable one for a person who, like me, 
is fond of retirement. It is so full, in consequence of the return 
of Captain Christian's fleet, that beds can scarcely be had ; and 
the noise and oaths and blasphemy which issue from every 
corner are truly shocking. I sometimes send a sigh after the 
quiet of Pulteney Street ; but this is my station, and I ought to 
be satisfied. I have fortunately met with a Major of Engineers 
here, who is a friend of mine and a Christian, and he has con- 
tributed a little to render the place not unpleasant. It is said 
of Jacob that he served seven years for Rachel, and that they 
seemed unto him but a few days for the love he had to her. 
But how would Jacob have felt if, instead of spending this long 
interval in his Rachel's company, he had been obliged to pass 
it at an awful distance from her ? Jacob was not called to this, 
but it becomes us who are, to obey the call with cheerfulness 
and alacrity. 

You ask me to tell you the genuine feelings of my mind on 
the subject of Africa, and I will expose them without disguise. 
Were the possession of anything the world deems good brought 
into competition with Selina Mills, I should reject it without 
the smallest hesitation. I endeavour, however, to sit so loose, 
even to that object which is thus dear to me, as to be ready at 
God's will to give it up ; and it is my wish and prayer to be 
enabled to rejoice in the sacrifice. To say that I see no diffi- 
culties in the way of our union would argue blindness, but I 
have committed my cause to God. I am almost afraid to pro- 
ceed. I feel on my mind a secret and involuntary dread that 
God will require me in Africa, and should therefore the path of 
duty be plainly marked, I hope I shall be enabled to take up 
my cross and to follow Christ. I would observe that the in- 
voluntary feeling I describe has its origin in the fear of losing 
you, and my judgment tells me there is little probability that 
my fear will ever be realised. I have uncovered my heart to 

What a mercy it is that our lot has not been cast among 

^ This noble hymn, written by Charles Wesley, as well as that first mentioned 
which ^«ras translated from the German by John Wesley, is contained in the Collection 
of Hymt^s Jor the Use of the People called Methodists^ by the Rev. John Wesley, late 
Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. 


those who live without hope and without God in the world ! 
This is a sentiment which Portsmouth more forcibly im- 
presses on my mind than any scene I ever beheld. I passed 
yesterday, however, with tolerable comfort. Major Macbean 
and I succeeded in adding to our party a young lad, who is a 
Lieutenant of Engineers, Mr. Stanfield, and who had, together 
with a respect for religion, a deep dislike to Methodism. He 
accompanied us to church. Mr. Bradburn is a man of un- 
common powers, and I think the preaching had deeply affected 
his mind. I venture to tell you that I have left a letter for 
my friend Dr. Winterbottom, whose arrival from Africa is 
shortly expected. From Winterbottom I was not used to 
conceal a thought of my heart. I have therefore told him, 
under strong injunctions of secrecy, of our relation to each 
other, and I have also requested him, should he visit Bath, to 
call upon you. Winterbottom has seen me in every different 
situation in which it is almost possible for a man to be placed ; 
and he certainly knows my interior at least as well as any 
one, myself excepted. I shall write to you again to-morrow, 
but I am pestered almost to death with Dr. Coke and his 

Portsmouth^ February 17, 1796. 

If I have occasionally written short letters to you of late, 
my dear Selina, it is not because you have engrossed a small 
portion of my thoughts. Were long letters the necessary 
result of strong attachment, the hours of sleep should be 
lessened in order to furnish them. But Portsmouth, contrary 
to my expectation, instead of proving a place of idleness and 
inaction, has been to me a place of constant hurry and employ- 
ment. Thus night steals on me unperceived, and weighs down 
my senses so as to leave me scarce energy enough to take a 
retrospect of the day, and to solicit for you and myself the 
protection of Him who never slumbers nor sleeps, but guards 
His people with a watchful eye. With what dull and sleepy 
bodies are we ustd to appear before our God ! 

* And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil ? or if ye 
offer the'lame and sick, is it not evil?' If God thus required 
of the Jews to honour Him with the best, not with the least use- 
ful part of their substance, so does He require of us to honour 
Him not only by yielding Him our best affections, but also our 
best time, instead of studiously setting that time apart for 
Him, which from drowsiness or other cause can be applied to 
nothing else. When we retire to our chambers we generally 
have two objects in view ; the one is to transact some 
business, such as writing letters, settling accounts, or reading a 


favourite book ; and when that is done, or when for sleepiness 
we can no longer attend to our first employment, we turn to 
the second, which is performing our devotions. It is easy to 
see with what spirit they will be performed, and how unlikely 
they are to be productive of any effects. This might no 
doubt be obviated by reversing the order of the employments, 
but still with the Jews we wish to be such good economists 
as to set apart for God the blind and the lame and the sick 
whom no one will buy — in other words, the time which can no 
way else be used. I speak feelingly on this point, for it is one 
of my besetting sins. There is no doubt in the evenings a 
tempting fitness for particular pursuits. The world is shut 
out There is no danger of interruption. All is calm and 
still and serene. Meanwhile, prayer is forgotten till the heavi- 
ness of the eyelids shows it is time to quit the grateful tasks, 
and to perform the customary tale of devotion. I was so 
convinced of the impropriety of this mode of proceeding as it 
respected my own improvement, while at Sierra Leone, that for 
some time I went without supper that I might have the supper 
hour, which was an early one, to myself, and be at liberty to 
devote the more sleepy part of the evening to less grave and 
less important matters, such as conversation and reading. 

I passed some hours to-day in the company of some officers, 
one of whom swore much. Swearing became the topic of con- 
versation, and he appealed to me whether there was any 
wickedness in swearing, as it was a practice, he said, which 
harmed no one. I was glad of the opening, and I fear might 
have been offensively strong on the subject. He stared, when 
I told him, among other things, that no man of true polite- 
ness would be guilty of swearing, even if he felt no religious 
restraints. He asked me to explain. 'What would you 
think of his politeness who should abuse your father to your 
face, or who should vilify your King whom you served?' 
The answer was plain and obvious. 'Shall such respect be 
paid to the feelings of a son, or a servant, merely on the score 
of politeness, and shall no respect be paid to his feelings, who, 
regarding God as his Father, is sensibly affected by any dis- 
respect shown Him ; and who, regarding Christ as his King, 
deeply feels any dishonour done to His name? Allowing 
these feelings to be mere prejudices, yet a man of real politeness 
will be far from wounding them, especially as he knows that 
the man who is concerned for God's honour, cannot attempt 
to vindicate it without exposing him to dprision. There is a 
chance that in every company into which a man falls, there 
may at least be one man who will be pained by swearing. 
The man of politeness would not incur even this risk of giving 


pain for so paltry a gratification as that of swearing, which of 
all sins is the least profitable, and to which of all sins there is 
the least temptation. But let us remember that, while it is thus 
to be despised for its folly, it is also to be deeply abhorred for 
its guilt/ He acknowledged it was very bad, and promised to 
try to swear no more. Whether he keeps his promise or not, 
he may perhaps think a little more than he used to do on the 
heinousness of the practice. 

I found in the case of my friend Stanfield, as I have done in 
the case of many others, that the reason which prevented his 
becoming religious sooner was his not being aware of the 
necessity of making the Bible the standard of right and wrong. 
If a man can once be persuaded to make the Bible his rule of 
acting and judging, he will become a Christian of course. 
This way of trying common actions seemed to be quite a new 
thing to Stanfield. How pleasing to see a young man, sur- 
rounded by temptations, jeered at by profligate companions, 
and in danger of offending his superiors, thus opening his 
mind to the truth and receiving it 1 

I have found, and transcribe to save postage, Home's letter. 
'Gilbert^ has just paid his addresses to my sister, and will 
probably be favoured with her hand in a few weeks. His 
offer is so unexceptionable, and her situation so unfavourable 
to religion, that I cannot but give my approbation to the 

I go to-morrow on board of Admiral Gardner's ship. Should 
he give me assurance of remaining here a week, wonder not if 
you should have a sudden visit. It is a vain hope, I fear. 

February i8, 1796. 

Having finished the business of the day I sit down to enjoy 
my Selina's society. 

Miss Patty's dislike to marriage appears whimsical. She 
ought to suspect that the effect she complains of arises from 
herself. As in your case, for instance, you are aware of the 
suspicion she entertains of coolness, so I should not wonder if 
a constraint were thereby produced which would terminate 
in the very thing she apprehends, namely, some degree of 
estrangement. But how can Miss Patty argue against marriage 
as hostile to friendship, when we have so many living testi- 
monies to oppose the opinion. Let us look to the Grants ; let 
us look to Babington : where shall we find a more active 
benevolence, or hearts more capable of pure and tender friend- 
ship? It gives me an unspeakable satisfaction to find that she 

* The Chaplain with whom Macaulay had made his first voyage to Sierra Leoae. 


has transferred no portion of her dislike from marriage itself 
to its advocate. I know very few indeed whose good opinion 
I am so desirous of retaining as that of our common friends in 
Pulteney Street, and you may believe that among them, Miss 
Patty holds a high place in the seat of regard. I certainly 
feel a greater love for Miss Hannah, and I always think of her 
with a more lively interest, but I have sometimes imagined 
that there was in Miss Patty more of that spiritual mindedness 
which is life and peace. 

But it is midnight, and I must quit you for a short time. 

What a perpetual remembrancer is the midnight hour, not only 

of that sleep of death on whose approach we shall lay aside 

these cumbrous bodies, but also of the joyous resurrection 

which shall follow, when we shall mount on seraph's wings to 

the mansions of bliss, and there begin a new, an eternal day. 

I can suppose that if a man were created by the Almighty in 

the full use of all his faculties, he would naturally conclude when 

the darkness of night began for the first time to overshadow him, 

and drowsiness to seize him, that the sun, which a few hours before 

had shone so resplendent, had for ever set ; that the being he 

had recently received was to be withdrawn, and that he was 

about to sink into his former state of unconsciousness. What 

must have been his surprise, however, to contemplate the 

renovation of universal nature, and to rejoice in every renewed 

faculty. Hence might he be led to infer that death, no more 

than sleep, would end him. But blessed for ever be God 

who has not left us to our own vain conjectures on this 

point. Life and immortality are brought to light. Earth and 

heaven shall pass away, but we shall flourish in immortal 

youth. An unfading crown awaits us, and we shall be in peace, 

and our joy shall be full, for we shall dwell with God and 

Christ for ever. 

Farewell, my dear Selina, till the arrival of the post to- 
morrow morning. May the choicest blessings of the heaven 
above and of the earth beneath be on the heads of you and 

Portsmouth^ February 21, 1796. 

The first motion I made on getting up this morning was to 
the virindow, where I found the wind to be west, so that another 
day seems to be assured to me in Portsmouth. How lightly 
do the days pass over, and how little is the adverse wind re- 
gretted, while I dwell by anticipation on the hour of the post's 
arrival, which is to bring me fresh marks of your tender 

I scarce ever felt purer pleasure than on seeing Mr. Wilber- 



force's success in yesterday's paper.^ May God hasten the 
period when Africa's chains shall be loosed. Mr. Thornton 
tells me that on Tuesday se'ennight, unless Parliamentary 
business should come in the way of great moment, he will be 
united to Miss Sykes. May the God they serve abundantly 
bless the union, and make it the beginning of many happy 
days to both ! 

I have often felt exactly as you do on reading the experience 
of eminent saints. I was at one time in very considerable 
distress from doubts respecting myself, and I was often tempted 
to believe that I was in a gross delusion in indulging a hope of 
having at all experienced the mercy of God in Christ But I 
discovered that the cause of my disquiet was the not having 
read the Scriptures with sufficient simplicity. For instance, 
with respect to the new birth, I supposed it impossible that 
one born of God should ever feel the propensities which I 
occasionally felt, as he that is born of God cannot commit sin. 
I forgot, however, that in the moral, as well as in the natural 
world, things are progressive. The child newly born has not 
attained the faculties of youth or manhood, but is as truly alive 
as he who has. I was also rendered uneasy by not having 
experienced some impression on my mind to assure me of 
God's forgiveness, till I saw in His word that the promise of 
forgiveness was to people of a certain description, and that if I 
was of that description, all that I had to do was to believe the 
promise. Often indeed have we to join Paul in his heavy 
complaint, and to say, * Who shall deliver me from the body of 
sin and death ? ' ; but while, like him, we groan to be delivered, 
let us believe that God in His good time will deliver us. 

My success with the swearing gentleman has been more than 
I supposed. I find he swears no more, and am told by his 
companions that he has become exceedingly restless and 
uneasy about that and other matters. 

It excites a sort of uneasy sensation when I think that 1 
have now passed eleven days at this place, which might have 
been appropriated to a more pleasant purpose. But I would 
not repine. I have been traversing in idea the distance which 
divides us, but alas, as often as I do so, recollection soon 
hurries me back, I will not say to despair, but to the Calypso 
Good-night, my Selina. May you be defended from ever>- 
possible evil, and also from the fear of evil, which I believe is 
the source of more unhappiness than people are aware ot 
Once more adieu. 

^ On February i8th Wilberforce carried the First Reading of his Bill to abolish ihfl 
Slave Trade in a limited time. He says in his diary, * Surprise and joy in canryina 
my question. Speaker asked me and Pitt together to come and sup. Pitt delighted 
with having carried it.' 


On board the * Calypso ^ Spithead^ February 22, 1796. 
I have just been made very happy by a letter from you. 
You are indeed very good. But 1 have now h'ttle time to 
answer you. The signal is out for sailing, and we shall soon 
obey it I came on board in order to be present yesterday 
morning at the opening of public worship. Our Chaplain, Mr. 
Clarke, who pursues the same mode of proceeding as Mr. Jay,^ 
preached to about forty people, one-half of whom at least may 
be said to be truly religious characters. This forms an addi- 
tional ground of hope and security, seeing that the God who 
rides on the wings of the wind, and whose voice calms the 
troubled sea, has so many of His children along with us. They 
are always safe, having a hiding-place from the storm and a 
refuge from the tempest. 

Let us then draw from the living fountain of waters those 
streams of consolation which are in the power of faithful and 
fervent prayer, and to Him may we always commend ourselves 
and each other. To Him would 1 now commend you, with an 
earnest prayer that He would preserve the precious deposit till 
the day of Christ our Lord. 

And now, my beloved Selina, would I bid you a long fare- 
well, assuring you that if I know my own heart, my attachment 
to you has gained strength from acquaintance, and that 1 have 
little fear that time or place will change those sentiments 
of love, esteem, and affection, with which I am your most 
affectionate Z. Macaulay. 

^ A celebrated preacher at Bath. 




The wearisome period of detention was now over, and the 
Calypso sailed from Portsmouth on the 23rd of February 1796. 
Macaulay had looked forward with interest to associating with 
the band of Missionaries who were placed under his care ; but 
companionship on a sea-voyage is said to be the safest existing 
criterion of character, and on this occasion the rule held good 
He had been harassed, even before quitting Portsmouth, by 
their constant disputes among themselves and with the other 
passengers, but now, on better acquaintance with their dis- 
positions, he began to feel serious anxiety as to the results of 
the I expedition. They had been chosen by Dr. Coke, who 
professed to have exercised great caution in the selection, 
and whose business in life consisted in the appointment and 
superintendence of the foreign Missions of the Wesleyan 
Methodists. He had incurred considerable personal danger in 
America by the open profession he made of his detestation of 
slavery ; and his high reputation had induced the Directors to 
confide entirely in his discretion, and to leave the whole 
responsibility of choosing the Missionaries to him. Dr. Coke's 
character for discrimination, however, never recovered the blow 
as far as any of the Directors are concerned. 

Macaulay also discovered that Dr. Coke had charged the 
Missionaries privately with a letter from himself to the King of 
the Foulah nation, a letter which certainly was never intended 
to be seen by Macaulay^s critical eyes, but which the Mission- 
aries exhibited during the voyage with pardonable exultation. 
Whatever might be the impression intended to be produced 
upon the mind of a barbarous Chief, there could be no doubt 
that the language in which the letter was couched was highly 
injudicious as regarded its effect upon the messengers to whom 
it was entrusted, and who were already imbued with absurdly 


lofty ideas of their personal importance. Macaulay sends a 
copy of this letter for Mr. Thornton's information, telling him 
it will develop the Doctor's character ; and especially marks 
the opening passages couched in inflated language, in which 
Dr. Coke states that the six friends, who will present the letter 
to His Majesty, *will set forth an example of all the virtues and 
of all the graces, and are qualified to instruct his subjects in all 
the important arts of Europe.' Their proficiency is described 
in terms so pompous as to be very ridiculous; and to the 
account of the eminent attainments of one of the number in 
surgery and medicine, Macaulay appends a sarcastic annota- 
tion, * Giles attended the London Hospital for one month.' 
The Doctor continues to relate that he himself, Thomas Coke, 
goes * from one end of the world to the other teaching mankind 
how to be good and happy,' and finally concludes this extra- 
ordinary epistle in the following manner : — 

* I trust, O King, that my friends will be made a blessing, 
yea even to Ages yet unborn. 

* I have felt confidence, O King, in your clemency and good- 
ness that you will show my friends every degree of kindness, 
and give them land, and men, and cattle. And I have also full 
confidence in my friends, that they will always prove worthy of 
the favours you bestow on them. 

* That all blessings may be your portion, O King, shall be 
the prayer of your willing servant, 

'Thomas Coke, 
Minister of the Most High God, and Teacher of the Law of 

'Written in England on the 13th day of February in the 
year 1796 of the Christian era.' 

* Giles, of whom so much is said,' continues Macaulay, * is, I 
think, one of the steadiest in his principles. He has been 
ordained Minister of the Colony, and is certainly more fit for 
that oflfice than any of the others. He is indolent and inactive, 
and has been led by the Doctor to expect that he may be sup- 
ported at Teembo ^ without the labour of his hands. I should 
have expected more of Giles had not his views been so 
improperly elevated. 

< Yellili was also ordained a preacher by Dr. Coke. I am 
-^rprised that even he should have done this, for the man is 
/ empty, assuming, and his levity and imprudence are 

^ The capital of the Foulah country. 


excessive. On board ship his disputatious temper has disgusted 
even his associates. The others seem quite inoffensive people, 
and have conducted themselves in general with great propriety. 
Their wives are some of them in bad health, and the others 
very unsuitable to the Mission from their bad tempers.' 

Besides the Missionaries there were on board a few persons 
going out to fill various posts in the Colony, and some 
mechanics and superior artisans whom Macaulay had been at 
great pains in collecting, and whom he took out with a view of 
their instructing the Settlers in useful trades and employments. 
After a short experience of their behaviour at Sierra Leone he 
wrote a curious letter to Henry Thornton, with a minute 
analysis of their characters, some quotations from which may 
be found interesting. 

* On the whole, I have the highest expectations of good from 
the labours of Mr. Clarke ; and if deep and solid piety, sound 
judgment, unwearied zeal, incessant activity, tempers of kind- 
ness and love, and an example in his own conduct of those 
duties to which he calls others afford a reasonable ground for 
such expectations, then I am not too sanguine, for they are to 
be found in Clarke. I should not mention as a defect his pro- 
vincial dialect so long as he is quite intelligible to the people 
he addresses, but a worse error is the use of words whose 
meaning is either not generally understood, or which convey an 
improper meaning. I join here the whole train of cant words, 
and far-fetched metaphors, which are so liberally used by the 
Seceders of Scotland, and from whom Clarke has borrowed 
them. The sort of expressions I allude to are such as, 'wrest- 
ling with God in prayer ; giving God no rest in prayers ; staying 
the accursed enmity ; when the Spirit of God takes a dealing 
with a soul; leaping over the mountains of our sins and 
skipping over the hills of our provocations,' etc., etc. Clarke 
is remarkably open to correction, and he has already amended 
this fault a little. He has permitted me to point out words 
used by him, which are not understood by the people, and I 
occasionally include one of those phrases, though parting with 
them is like parting with a right eye. 

* Mr. Guest, the surgeon, is exactly the man Mr. Pearson ^ 
taught us to expect. He is sensible, modest, and obliging. He 
has contracted one bad habit by being in the army, I mean a 
habit of indifference, more perhaps in look than in realit\'. 
This is clearly a disadvantage in a medical man. His conduct 
has been exceedingly decorous all along. 

■ ^ An eminent London surgeon. 


* Mr. Wilson is the one whose views we were taught to suspect 
in consequenceof a letter from the Rev. Mr. Jones of Edinburgh. 
While at Portsmouth Mr. Clarke one Sunday forenoon collected 
the people together for the purpose of worship, and was about 
to give out one of Watts's psalms to be sung by them. Wilson 
protested loudly against this, and said he could not con- 
scientiously submit to having any psalms sung except those of 
the Church of Scotland version. Mr. Clarke, being averse to 
altercation at such a time, complied with his strange humour. 
This being mentioned to me, I made a point of being on board 
the following Sunday, when Mr. Clarke was allowed to give out 
one of Watts's psalms without any interruption. I thought this 
a better plan than entering into a discussion with Wilson, as his 
conduct must have proceeded from ignorance, and as I hoped 
that the narrow-mindedness thereby produced would wear off 
as he receded from Scotland. 

* But all that I have said to his disadvantage appears to me 
now to have been the effect of a very limited acquaintance with 
any but people of the peculiar cast of sentiment of the Seceders 
in Scotland, who, while they pretend to a contempt of forms, 
are most singularly bigoted to every petty circumstance, not 
merely in their creed, but in their mode of worship. With all 
his defects in this particular, Wilson is a manly, decided 
character, who is capable of thinking for himself He has 
studied the Bible with a most minute attention, and, I fancy, 
piques himself on this ; and though rather a strong Calvinist, 
has a rooted abhorrence of everything Antinomian. In his 
ordinary conduct, I mean in doing the business assigned him, 
which is that of under-storekeeper, he is diligent, expert, and 

' Mr. Garvin and Mr. Leese afford me nothing very particular 
to say. In the management of their schools they have not been 
so successful as is to be wished, owing in some measure to the 
harshness of their natural tempers, which leads them to prefer 
severe to kindly measures. But we hope to correct that 

* Mr. Hermitage, our master carpenter, is an useful industrious 
tradesman, and a man of resource and activity, and also of 

* His assistant, Millar (the husband of the Clapham widow, 
Mrs. Wilkinson) has been so very sickly as to afford little 
opportunity of fairly estimating his character. Mr. Dawes had 
not discovered that tendency to Antinomianism in him which 
you were led by his letters to suspect. He has manifested a 
degree of insincerity in this, that he professed to Mr. Dawes his 
perfect acquiescence in the reasons he gave for advising Mrs. 


Dawes against coming, and said he .should use the same to 
Mrs. Wilkinson, whereas in his letters to Mrs. Wilkinson he 
sneered at Mr. Dawes's want of faith. 

* Mr. Bracy, the shipwright, is just the man you might 
expect to. be produced by a dockyard education ; rough, but 
decent enough. His wife is what may be called a notable 
woman ; another Mrs. Bragwell,^ were she in a similar 

The Calypso had made a quick passage, and had reached Free- 
town on the 1 8th of March. Macaulay was touched and gratified 
by the warmth with which he was welcomed by the inhabitants, 
both white and black. Mr. Watt, whose labours upon the Bullom 
shore had been very valuable, and whose sense and courage had 
been a great support to Macaulay during the troubles of 1794, 
had died ; but there were several old friends, besides Mr. Dawes, 
to greet him, and Mr. Clarke proved a great acquisition in every 
way. He was a Presbyterian Minister, and well known and 
highly esteemed in Scotland. The whole of the population of 
the Colony of every denomination flocked to hear him deliver 
his first sermon ; and Macaulay records that on coming out of 
church he was surrounded by crowds of persons trying to 
express their sense of obligation to him for bringing out such a 
Chaplain. * To say the truth,' he adds, * there was some ground 
for their admiration. I have heard less exceptionable dis- 
courses ; but I am not sure that I ever heard a discourse more 
fitted to do good, as well by informing the understanding as by 
engaging the affections.' 

While Macaulay was occupied a few days after his arrival in 
arranging the departure of the Mission to Teembo, a sudden 
alarm of another invasion of the French threw the place into an 
uproar. Three vessels of a suspicious appearance were seen in 
the offing. But this time the town was on its guard, some 
preparations for defence were quickly made, and Macaulay went 
out in a pinnace to reconnoitre. The manoeuvres of the strange 
ships were so peculiar that he was led to conclude that they 
were really enemies, but on running pretty close, he found that 
they did not appear to be armed. Reassured by thisdiscover>% 
he returned at once ; and as they had come within cannon shot 

* Mrs. Bragwell is the wife of the worldly farmer in Mrs. Hannah More's Tract of 
the l\oo Wealthy Farmers, The character there drawn of her does not inspire in 
the reader any high idea of Mrs. Bracey's merits. 


of Freetown, he gave orders for a gun to be fired at them, which 
brought them to. They proved to be Americans, and their 
suspicious movements to be caused by their ignorance of the 
channel. As soon as the true state of the case was known, the 
Colonists, who had conveyed their families and goods into the 
woods, began to return, and order and tranquillity were gradually 
restored. But for a long time afterwards there are repeated 
accounts in the journal of similar occurrences which unsettled 
and distracted the place. * These alarms,' writes Macaulay, *are 
by far the most unpleasant circumstances which attend our 
present situation. As our defenceless state affords us no good 
ground of security even against the depredations of a privateer 
or two, every sail which appears in sight causes no small 
anxiety till we have made ourselves acquainted with its 

The American captains came on shore, and expressed great 
concern at the confusion they had occasioned. They had been 
to Goree, where they said M. Renaud, who will be remembered 
as the former head of the French slave factory at Gambia 
Island, continued on the watch for English vessels. 

Macaulay was now at liberty to complete his plans for 
forwarding the different Missionaries to their appointed spheres 
of action. The fate of the Mission destined for the Foulah 
nation will be best studied in the pages of the journal which, as 
has been previously mentioned, he kept for the private informa- 
tion of Mr. Henry Thornton, Chairman of the Sierra Leone 
Company. As the ship intended for its conveyance was lying 
off Freetown, quite prepared and in readiness for an immediate 
voyage, Macaulay decided upon taking advantage of Mr. Dawes's 
presence in the Colony, and upon availing himself of the oppor- 
tunity for inspecting Freeport, a branch establishment belonging 
to the Company upon the Rio Pongo, which had been excep- 
tionally successful owing to the capacity of its manager, and to 
the manner in which it had been protected against the surround- 
ing slave-dealers by the native Chiefs, who were beginning to 
reel confidence in the Company's promises. He intended also 
to visit some of the slave factories along the Pongo River and on 
the borders of the Foulah country, and to make inquiries with 
rogard to the possible extension of trade. 

* March 21, 1796. — I am thankful to say that of the seven men 


I persuaded to quit their country and friends to follow the 
fortunes of the Colony, no one has expressed the smallest dis- 
satisfaction at the exchange. But if my colouring was not too 
high, it is pretty plain that Dr. Coke's must have been so. This 
morning there was nothing to be heard among the Missionary 
ladies but doleful lamentations or bitter complaints. To their 
astonishment Freetown resembled neither London nor Ports- 
mouth ; they could find no pastrycooks' shops, nor any ginger- 
bread to buy for their children. Dr. Coke had deceived them ; 
if this was Africa they would go no farther, that they would 
not. Their husbands were silent ; but their looks were 
sufficiently expressive of chagrin and disappointment. It was 
with real complacency I reflected that I had always used dis- 
suasives in talking to them, that I had always endeavoured to 
dash every extravagant hope I observed them indulging, and 
that I had always coloured my paintings with the most dark 
and discouraging tints. On my reminding them of my repre- 
sentations, I discovered that they had been taught to expect 
that I should make it a principle to paint gloomily, merely by 
way of trying the strength of their resolutions ; what I said, 
therefore, was regarded merely as a sort of bugbear, which 
they believed to have no existence, and for braving which 
they should obtain the credit of undaunted courage at a cheap 

^ March 23. — Yellili has caused sad confusion here. On his 
landing at Freetown a Slave-trader who was standing on the 
wharf was pointed out to him. The zealous Mr. Yellili im- 
mediately accosted him with, "Are you a dealer in slaves?" 
" Yes," said the man, " I have bought and sold thousands, and 
hope to do so again." "Then," said Yellili, "depend upon it, 
you will go to hell." High words ensued, and had it been in 
any other place than Freetown, Yellili would have had the 
honour of persecution, for he would at least have been soundly 
beaten. He had been particularly cautioned against entering 
on disputes with Mohammedans respecting religion, and he had 
promised to attend to the caution. Two days after he landed 
he fell into company with one Mommadoo, a respectable 
Mohammedan of the Mandingo nation, then on a visit here. 
They had not conversed long together before Yellili, brandishing 
his fist, told Mommadoo that Mohammed was a false prophet. 
Mommadoo got up calmly and left him ; but had the same 
scene taken place in the Foulah country with men of more 
irascibility than Mommadoo, who happens to be a very gentle 
man, there is no saying what might have been the consequence. 
When we took all these circumstances into view in connection 
with his general conduct, it was deemed expedient to prevent 


his going any farther until he had shown that his rashness and 
inconsideration were in some measure corrected. 

* Mr. Clarke preached to-night at David George's Meeting. 
The old man is quite delighted with him, and has resolved that 
in future he and his people shall regularly attend him at church.' 

* Thursday^ March 24. — To-day we had a full discussion in 
Council. The final issue of our deliberation was that Dawes 
should take the first opportunity of returning to England in 
order to embark for the South Seas under the auspices of the 
Missionary Society, and that I should undertake the task of 
conducting the Missionaries to Teembo. Their wives and 
children remain here till after the rains. This determination 
has not proceeded from the intemperance of my zeal, but from 
a sober conviction on the part of Dawes and myself that it was 
right for me to go. Had there been any one else in the Colony, 
now that the speedy return of Dawes to England puts it out of 
his power to undertake the journey, who was likely to answer, 
I should not have been very forward in the business. But as 
it is, there seems to be no other alternative than either 
abandoning the Mission entirely, or accompanying the Mission- 
aries. We have thought on the whole that it was better to 
embrace the latter, for although our hopes of extensive good 
from the present Missionaries be but slender, yet we trust they 
will cast no stain on the Christian name, and they will, it is to 
be hoped, conduct themselves without offence. 

* In the afternoon we desired the attendance of the Foulah 
Missionaries, and they all expressed their willingness to go. It 
appeared to me they were only prevented from retracting by 
shame, but it would have been unjustifiable to have intimated 
a suspicion of their sincerity. 

^ Friday y March 25. — It was decided the Missionaries should 
proceed without delay under my conduct to Teembo. We 
called them again before us. Giles betrayed that he had not 
the most distant notion that he should be under the necessity 
of providing for his subsistence in the Foulah country; and 
said Dr. Coke had told him the King was to provide the 
Missionaries with land, cattle, and servants, and that they would 
be under no necessity of labouring for a subsistence. "But 
were not," I asked, " the conditions on which you engaged, and 
to which you subscribed, that you should receive support from 
the subscribers only during the first three months of your 
residence in Foulah, after which you were to support yourselves 
by cultivating the ground or labouring at your respective 
trades ? " " Yes," he replied, " but Dr. Coke said there would 
be no necessity for the latter expedient ; besides, he told me 
that I should have a liberal provision arising from my situation 


as teacher, as the Foulahs would be so desirous of instruction 
in the English language as to be disposed to pay handsomely 
for it." I urged, " But all this is not in the bond ; besides, the 
uniform tenor of my conversation contradicted such expecta- 
tions." " But I could not possibly mistrust Dr. Coke's assur- 
ances," he replied ; " they were very strong." This opened both 
to the Missionaries and to us a new view of the state of matters, 
and we perceived a great accession of coolness to the zeal of 
the Missionaries. They still, however, expressed themselves 
ready to attend me to Teembo with the exception of Yellili, 
whose conduct led to our determination of preventing his going 
on. He had now set the two parties of Methodists by the ears in 
consequence of his rash interference. It seemed, therefore, 
to be equally desirable that he should not remain here as that 
he should not go to Teembo, and Mr. Clarke was fearful of the 
trouble he might cause to him. When he expressed a wish 
therefore of taking his passage to America in a vessel bound 
hence to that quarter, we strongly encouraged him to do so. 

^ March 30, 1796. — We had agreed to set off to-day at noon 
for Teembo, and all things were in readiness for that purpose. 
At ten o'clock Giles came to me seemingly much cast down. 
" Oh, sir, I do not know what I shall do ; every one of the Mis- 
sionaries declares against going a step farther. The women 
were so alarmed by what happened yesterday,^ that they are 
determined their husbands shall not leave them here exposed 
to the fury of the enemy." " And what do the husbands say ? " 
"Say, sir? why, in such a case what can a man say? As 
Christians they were obliged to yield." I directed him to 
address a letter expressive of their resolution to us. The letter 
was soon brought. It merely contained a transcript of what 
Giles had told me. They subjoined a request for a passage 
back to England in the first vessel. This letter was signed by 
the four married men only. Giles had withheld his name by 
way of saving his credit. I observed to him that I supposed 
from his not choosing to sign the letter that he was still 
resolved to proceed with me. "Sir, you'll excuse me," said 
he, a little ashamed ; " I have no such intention." " It will 
be necessary then that you inform the Committee what you 
mean to do." 

* He then stated in a letter that he gave in his reasons for 
declining, which were that he could not think of proceeding by 
himself, and that the others having declined, he was obliged to 
decline also. Thus ended the Foulah Mission, and I think it 
fortunate that it has so ended. I tremble to think on the 
difficulties I should have had to encounter had I gone on to 

^ On the previous day one of the frequent alarms of a French attack had occurred* 


Teembo with such unstable subjects, and I cannot help being 
grateful for my escape. The crosses they have already met 
with are light when compared with those they would have a 
likelihood of meeting in the Foulah country ; and it is so far 
fortunate that they have been hindered from bringing Chris- 
tianity into contempt among the Foulahs, as their miserable 
deficiency in the necessary qualifications for Missionaries, of 
patience under suffering, and perseverance in the face of danger 
and in spite of disappointments, leads one to suppose they 
would have done. 

' I should not forget to mention that one ground of bitter 
complaint with our Missionaries was that there was little or no 
bread to be had at the Settlement, and yet when they left Eng- 
land, they came away under an engagement to pass their lives in 
a country where neither wheat nor wheaten bread was ever seen. 
One who cannot live on rice ought not to turn Missionary.' 

Macaulay set sail in the Ocean on the 31st of March accom- 
panied by Mr. Witchell, one of the principal oflRcials at Sierra 
Leone, about whom he writes to Mr. Thornton: * Witchell is 
a man of considerable intelligence, and is possessed of zeal and 
activity. I am not sure that I can more clearly convey to you 
the state of his religious opinions than that he is a strict but dry 
Churchman.' The commencement of the voyage was unlucky ; 
a tornado came on, and near the mouth of the Pongo River the 
vessel ran aground on a sandbank in the dark. Perceiving the 
lights of a schooner not far off, Macaulay went out at once in 
a boat to ask for help, but any assistance was refused, and the 
vessel made off at once in a manner that excited his suspicions. 
He remarks, * I found no small consolation in reflecting that we 
had not our faint-hearted Missionaries on board to perplex us.' 

• Sunday^ April 3. — None of us conceived that it required an 
able casuist to decide whether it was lawful for us to employ 
this day in extricating the Ocean from its present state of 
danger. The schooner whose people had acted so brutally 
last night was still in sight. I again set off with Witchell, and 
after rowing six or seven miles, we found ourselves alongside. 
The schooner was manned entirely by native Africans, only 
one of whom could speak English, and belonged to one Holman, 
a mulatto Slave-trader in the Rio Pongo. We found that the 
fear of being kidnapped had caused the shyness they had 
manifested, and we were ready enough to excuse it when 
we discovered the cause. They were now proceeding to an 
American slave-ship which lay a little to the northward, and 


on board of which was their master. We prevailed on them, 
however, when we had convinced them of our belonging to the 
Company, to return with us to the Rio Pongo, while two of 
them should go back in our boat to the Ocean, in order to pilot 
her over the bank at high water. 

* Accordingly the boat was sent back, and Witchell and I 
proceeded for the river in the schooner. At noon we entered 
the river, and found there a small vessel lying at anchor, on the 
deck of which were placed about thirty poor wretches in chains 
and perfectly naked. The vessel, I was given to understand, 
belonged to Lawrence, now residing in the Rio Pongo. I had 
no sooner hailed her than I perceived the spokesman to be 
one of our Sierra Leone Settlers, though he did not at once 
recognise me. My voice, however, was too well known to him. 
He asked in an altered tone if that was Mr. Macaulay, His 
confidence instantly forsook him, and I never saw more evident 
marks of shame and confusion. I forbore any animadversion, 
and proceeded up the river, which is wide from three-quarters 
of a mile to a mile at some distance from the sea, and branches 
off into almost innumerable creeks. By two o'clock we reached 
Domingee, Mr. Lawrence's place, which is sixteen miles up 
the river. 

* We found Lawrence, who was one of the most respectable 
Slave-traders on the coast, without shoes or stockings, and with 
no other dress than a checked shirt and trousers, seated in the 
middle of a group of natives who were collected together in his 
house, which was far inferior to the meanest hovel in England. 
In the surrounding area were about a thousand Foulahs who 
had come to barter their slaves for European goods. In a 
retired corner were twenty or thirty slaves in chains, who 
sat with their eyes fixed on the ground. Lawrence welcomed 
us with great kindness, for he had experienced many civilities 
from us. 

^ April 5. — We arrived yesterday at Freeport,^ and are going 
to-day to visit the slave factories near. 

* April 6. — We went down the river again, and about noon 
got to Bashia, the place formerly occupied by the noted Ormond, 
and now in the possession of Holman. I felt an involuntar>' 
horror at landing at a place which had witnessed such cruelties 
as Ormond was in almost the daily practice of perpetrating. 
We found Holman very frank and ingenuous, and Slave-trader 
as he is, I could not help respecting him. I talked much with 
him on the enormity of the trade. He said he knew it well, 

* The name given by Macaulay to the factory belonging to the Company. He 
praises Cooper, who was at the head of it, ' for maintaimng a very becoming dignity 
among the Slave-traders around.' 


and was unhappy in it, but what could he do? He and his 
family would starve. I had no success in trying to convince, 
him of his obligation to quit it. He would quit it, however, 
from inclination and a feeling of its inhumanity, if he could 
do without it. I suggested many expedients, and urged the 
probability of an abolition. He began to talk seriously of 
preparing against that event, and I promised him coffee and 
cotton seeds. 

^ Freeport, Sunday, April 10, 1796. — In the evening a Slave- 
trader of the name of Tool, who had formerly lived with 
the noted Ormond, called at Freeport. He had not long 
been seated when, from the same anxiety to justify them- 
selves which is common to all Slave-traders, he provoked a 
discussion of the merits of the Slave Trade. He acknowledged 
that he had heard shocking things of Ormond, but had never 
himself seen any cruelties practised by him. The worst thing 
he had seen done by Ormond's orders was the tying a swivel 
to the back of an unsaleable slave and throwing him into the 
river. " But he is in hell for that," he said. I was a little sur- 
prised by this remark, until I reflected that even Slave-traders 
have a standard of morality of their own, on their approach to 
which they comfort themselves with hopes of heaven. For 
Tool proceeded : " As for myself, I thank God I have nothing 
to reproach myself with. I pay my debts, and no man can say 
that Tool has ever injured him." Not willing to concede so 
much to him, I made a strong representation of the injuries he 
daily was guilty of to poor Africans. "Would you have me 
starve? I do no more than others, and rich men too have 
done. If they are satisfied that they do right, so may I. I am 
a poor man, and only strive for a livelihood." I showed him 
in a very strong way how much akin such a conduct was to 
that of the highwayman, and how such arguments served equally 
to justify him. He said God did not wish him to starve; if he 
minded thinking about those sort of things when he should 
be making trade, poverty would soon overtake him. I asked 
him what he would do in case Parliament should abolish the 
trade. He answered briskly, " They dare not do it." Our con- 
versation was interrupted by family worship, and when it was 
over he got up and made me a low bow^ " Sir, I humbly thank 
you ; you have brought back to my mind former times when 
I knew better things. Sir, it is eight years since I heard a 
prayer." "What! have you never prayed yourself during that 
time?" "No, sir, never"; recollecting himself, however, he 
added, " Yes, when I have been very sick or in great pain, I 
have sometimes tried to pray." I asked him if he had ever 
read the Bible, and if he believed it. He said he had been 


educated at Christ's Hospital in a religious way, and firmly 
• believed the Bible. I then pointed out to him the dreadful 
fate which awaited such and such persons, throwing into the 
characters I drew those particular vices which I had observed 
in Tool, till he began to look quite aghast. He said he 
would be glad to have it pointed out to him what he ought 
to do ; he sincerely wished to do what was right. " Give one 
proof of your sincerity ; abandon the Slave Trade." He said 
he should be glad to do it, but scarce knew how to extricate 
himself, and wished I would consent to pass a day at his place 
to give him more light on the subject. He promised to read a 
Bible if I would send him one, which I certainly will do along 
with some tracts. He appeared at last much frightened, and 
turned pale when I told him that this night's conversation 
might aggravate his punishment in the day of judgment. I 
have frequently seen such temporary convictions of the enormity 
of the Slave Trade fastened on the minds of traders, but I never 
expect them to last. I should not wonder, however, if this man 
should read his Bible with attention. He assured me with great 
seriousness that he would. I enlarged a good deal on the 
advantages he would derive from quitting the Slave Trade, but 
they seemed to have less effect on him than the evils which 
would attend his continuing in it. 

* Having taken our leave, we set off in the Providence for 
Sierra Leone. Fantimanee^ accompanied us. His wife took 
me aside as I was going away, and begged very earnestly that 
I would take care of him and keep him from getting a new 
wife at the Camp.^ She had no objection to any additional 
number of native wives, but a Camp lady would assume the pre- 
eminence, and perhaps send her to work in the plantation for 
her. She therefore begged me to stand her friend, which I 
promised to do.' 

On his return to Freetown he found troubles gathering. 
One of the Missionaries, a Baptist of the name of Grigg, had 
gone to his appointed position at Port Logo, and had been 
welcomed with cordiality by the natives who were desirous of 
instruction. At first it seemed that all would go well, but 
under the pretence of studying the language he quitted his post 
in about a fortnight to return to Freetown, where he remained, 
obstinately persisting in his neglect of duty, although his health 
was in perfect condition and he had practically no excuse to 
give for his conduct. Macaulay at first tried to induce hifn at 

^ A native Chief who had hospitably entertained Macaulay and his party. 
'•* Freetown was known by the name of the Camp among the natives. 


any rate to make himself useful with the natives living in the 
villages near the Settlement ; but his efforts to give Grigg any 
proper occupation were quite useless, and, idle and restless, he 
now became a source of danger to the more inflammable spirits 
among the Colonists. 

One of the many subjects which interested Macaulay's mind, 
and is continually referred to in his journal and letters, was a 
favourite scheme of his friends in England. They had strongly 
felt the need of literature suitable for circulation among the 
lower middle and labouring classes, and had given the matter 
much and anxious consideration. Mrs. Hannah More at last 
devised the institution of the Cheap Repository Tracts ; and 
her laudable endeavours were warmly seconded by the band of 
allies who assisted her with their pens, as well as by under- 
taking the expenses of the venture. She writes to Macaulay 
early in 1796: — *Mr. Henry Thornton and two or three others 
have condescended to spend hours with the hawkers ^ to learn 
the mysteries of their trade, and next month we hope to meet 
the hawkers on their own ground. Two committees are formed, 
one in the City and the other in Westminster, by members of 
Parliament and others for the regular circulation of the Tracts.' 
The success of the venture exceeded the most sanguine 
hopes of its projectors. Above two millions of the Tracts were 
sold in England during the first year alone, besides a very large 
number in Ireland. There is no doubt this was principally 
owing to Mrs. Hannah More's own contributions, which were 
written in a lively, entertaining style, which soon made the 
Tracts highly popular. She introduced all kinds of useful 
knoivledge on religious, political, and social subjects, and it 
may be noted that she scarcely ever produced a story in which 
some exemplary parish priest did not appear, and appear to 
advantage. She afterwards republished those tracts of which 
she was the author in a collected form under the somewhat 
quaint title of Stories for Persons in the Middle Ranks of Society 
atiii T^alesfor the Common People ; and some of the best known 
among these are *The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain,' the *Two 
Wealthy Farmers,' and * Parley the Porter.' In the preface she 
says tliat her motive in the publication had been : *To improve 

> AX tliat period the pedlars ministered in a great measure to the literary require- 
ments of country districts. Mrs. Martha More writes : * I have lately bought at the 
door a translation of Xenophon's ^^/r^a/^ /A/? Ten Thousand,'* 



the habits and raise the principles of the mass of people at a 
time when their dangers and temptations, moral and political, 
were multiplied beyond the example of any period in our 
history. As an appetite for reading had been increasing among 
the inferior ranks, it was judged expedient to supply such 
wholesome aliment as might give a new direction to the public 
taste, and abate a relish for those corrupt and impious publica- 
tions which the consequences of the French Revolution have 
been fatally pouring in on us/ 

* April 1 8. — We had this day the Foulah Missionaries before 
us. Their object in desiring a hearing was that they might 
have an opportunity of pointing out to us who among them 
had really caused the failure of the Mission. We had to listen 
to much unseemly invective, which only served to confirm our 
former opinion of their absolute unfitness for the office of 

^ April 29. — Witchell, Gray, and myself set off on an excut- 
sion to the mountains. My chief object was to fix on an 
eligible spot for a house on the summit of them, according to 
the wish expressed by the Directors. In our way we met with 
a good many coffee-trees, some in blossom. 

* On the summit of a hill, quite beyond all the allotments, I 
marked out a place for a house, and agreed with the Settlers in 
the neighbourhood to build it without delay, and to clear a few 
acres of land around it. The discovery of the true coffee in 
our mountains is a most happy circumstance, and likely to Y)C 
productive of very important effects. 

'The plan of our Sunday-school is that each master shall 
attend with his own scholars. The business opens with a 
prayer from one of the masters and concludes in the same way. 
Mr. Clarke superintends the whole, and when the children have 
recited their tasks, Mr. Clarke addresses them in a simple, 
familiar way. We found Garvin and Leese ^ averse to the whole 
business, and they declined to give their attendance. I signified 
to them my wish that they should attend with their children, 
and to this Leese consented, though with great reluctance. 
Garvin, however, took the opportunity of resigning his situa- 
tion. I asked him how he meant to employ himself or to 
subsist. He said he meant to labour among his own flock and 
to subsist on their bounty for some time, and that in the mean- 
time he should write home for employment as a Missionary* 
from one of the societies lately instituted for that purpose* I 

* A Baptist preacher. He and Garvin had not been successful in the managem^D'^ 
of their schools, owing chiefly to the severity they showed to the scholars. 


endeavoured to show him the absurdity of reh'nquishing one 
situation, and that a situation of usefulness, till he had procured 
another. From the whole of his conversation I was able to 
collect that he dreaded the effect of Clarke's superior talents, 
and that he was impatient of the restraint which would have 
been on him had he continued a servant of the Company. 

* May 3. — A delegation from the Hundreders and Tithing- 
men waited on me. They declared their resolution of "rallying 
round me on Thornton Hill, and dying there to a man before 
they would submit as before to the insults of the French. 

' I had expected some such extravagant boast from them at 
the first, and was prepared to avail myself of it. I told them I 
was much pleased with their spirit ; that I had already drawn 
the plan of a battery which they might get about constructing 
without any further delay ; that I should direct the master of 
the works to furnish them with materials, and should also cause 
the twelve-pounders which I wished to have mounted to be 
pointed out to them. They looked a little blank at such a 
strong proof of their sincerity being required, but it appeared 
so reasonable and necessary that they could only say they 
would consult their brethren on it. Another meeting was 
accordingly called, at which, in compliance with my proposal, 
it was resolved to give the labour of the Colony, as long as it 
should be deemed necessary, to the construction of works of 

' They seemed to take it for granted that I should give wages 
to those who laboured on public works, but I undeceived them 
in this particular, and told them it must be entirely a common 
business, to which every individual member of the community 
ought to contribute. 

*May 4. — Hermitage, the master of the works, acquainted 

me that the works were at a stand, the people refusing to work 

till they knew who was to pay them. This was no more than 

I expected ; but as I was resolved not to give way to their 

unreasonable expectations, I ordered Hermitage to convene 

them all in the church, that I might have an opportunity of 

trying the effect of argument and persuasion. Clarke went 

^ivith me, and opened the meeting with a prayer. I began with 

telling them the purpose for which we were assembled, namely, 

that of pointing out to them what they ought to do in the 

p>rosent emergency. I showed them how in every other country 

the people bear the whole expense of public works, of armies, 

and of navies. I reminded them of what had been told me 

\yy them no longer ago than yesterday, " that they would die 

j-ather than yield." I asked whether I was to regard this as an 

ejxipty boast, or as the expression of their real sentiments. If 


they were sincere in expressing a willingness to part with life, 
they could make few objections to bestowing a little labour in 
erecting works which would enable them to sell their lives at a 
dearer rate. I then explained to them very particularly how 
I thought those who did not give their labour should be made 
to contribute in money, and how that money ought to be 
employed and accounted for. I urged them to firmness and 
unanimity, and promised to stand by them to the last. 

* There were now no objections. They all went away quietly to 
work. Even those who from their uniform opposition to every 
salutary regulation have gained to the street in which they live 
the name of Discontented Row, were now foremost in showing 
their alacrity to comply with my wishes. 

^ May 5. — Having been informed that Grigg, the Baptist 
Missionary, had been preaching in Garvin*s meeting-house on 
the unlawfulness of resistance, nay, even of self-defence, I 
thought it right to have some conversation with him on the 
subject. He acknowledged the charge, and owned at the same 
time the impropriety and unseasonableness of what he had 
done. The principle, he held, was nevertheless a sound one 
I asked whether he deemed it as essential as adult baptism. 
He said no. I advised him then to observe the same rule with 
respect to it which he observed in a Methodist meeting with 
respect to adult baptism, that is, to say nothing at all about it, 
and this he promised to do. 

*I took a little time to-day to drill our raw Scotchmen, 
several of whom had never had a gun in their hands before. I 
thought it necessary that they should know how to load and 

* May 7. — I visited our battery and found it in a state of great 
forwardness. Although I was exerting myself as much as 
possible to put the place into a state of defence, and was 
animating the Settlers to a vigorous resistance, yet I sa\ir that 
resistance would be perfectly vain if the French force should 
prove as great as it was reported to be. 

* I took measures for having a flag of truce sent on board the 
French rrigates as soon as they might appear in sight. By 
sending an intelligent person along with it, I should procure 
information of their real force, and be thus enabled to act with 
more decision. At all events I determined to do my utmost to 
prevent their coming within the range of our guns till they 
should send a summons, which would afford us time for de- 
liberation, and an opportunity probably of favourable terms. 
Resistance for any other purpose to the attack of three frigates 
would be indeed a foolhardy attempt, and I should only have 
to reproach myself with having been the cause of an evidently 


fruitless effusion of blood. I speak now on the supposition of 
its being such a force as is reported ; but even in our present 
state we should be well able to repel two or three privateers. 

* The natives have behaved well, but I should suppose they 
look wistfully for another visit of the French after the rich 
booty gained by their first visit. 

* David George came to suggest a doubt to me. He said he 
understood the French were enemies of the Slave Trade in the 
same way as Mr. Wilberforce. To fight them would be to fight 
our friends. I told David he owed this ingenious objection to 
his fears, and pointed out to him how widely different the 
principles of Mr. Wilberforce and the French were. Besides 
we had nothing to do with their principles, nor with them, 
except it was to defend ourselves from depredations, and surely 
we had no right to call those friends who came to plunder us. 

* Sunday J May 8. — I enjoyed in an unusual degree the 
quiet of this returning day, after all the toils and bustle and 
anxiety of the week. At the Sunday-school we went on well, 
as usual. 

*Mayg, — About an hour after midnight an express arrived 
from Bance Island with a letter from Tilley which put an end 
to my fears. An American schooner had arrived at the Isles 
de Los from Gpree, and brought certain intelligence that there 
have been no frigates there, and that the only force there is 
four small privateers commanded by Renaud. I assure you 
I was not a little thankful for this turn in our affairs. 

* May II. — I mentioned on the 28th of April the arrival of an 
American sloop, Captain Peters. He had anchored very near 
the wharf, and of course was liable to observation. He had, 
however, the boldness to buy four slaves, a man and three girls, 
while in this position. Being informed of it by a native who 
worked on board of his vessel, I thought it right to institute an 
inquiry. I accordingly sent Witchell and Gray with an inter- 
preter on board. When Peters understood their errand he 
apF»eared dreadfully frightened, and tried to evade their ques- 
tions, and to mislead them with respect to the individuals. 
After pointing out slaves several times as those he had bought 
hcTCj at last he was forced to produce the four in question, who 
through the interpreter were instantly known to be Sierra 
Leone people. Their examination was taken down and brought 
ashore. I sent to King Jammy to know the truth of the facts 
they had alleged, and had them fully confirmed. One of the 
four, a man of about thirty years of age, had been sold by the 
King- Another, a girl of fourteen, was on a visit to one of 
Signor Domingo's wives, and suspected nothing less than a 
design to kidnap her. But the Signor could not resist the 


temptation of a slave-ship in his neighbourhood, and sold her 
for a cask of rum. Another girl, Maria, had been at school 
here and spoke English. 

* Having learned all that I could concerning them, I again 
sent Witchell and Gray on board with a message to Captain 
Peters that I should be much obliged to him to permit the 
above-mentioned persons to come ashore. He complied with 
my request without any hesitation. The poor creatures still 
appear terrified lest their deliverance should not be a real one. 
When they were brought up to my house they seemed much 
agitated, but they immediately recognised me, and Maria, who 
had been a favourite here with me, lost her fears. Mary Perth, 
the woman who has the care of our native children, and with 
whom Maria formerly lived, was directed to take charge of 
them and clothe them, for they were quite naked. 

^ May 12. — This forenoon the father of one of the girls came 
to see her, and his meeting with his child was truly affecting. 
There happened also to come to Mary Perth's a native young 
woman who in Maria's better days had been used to wait upon 
her, and who had been her attendant from her birth. She 
knew Maria had been sold, and had therefore laid aside every 
hope of seeing her again, but when assured it was Maria, she 
gave way to joy of the most extravagant kind. Shame on 
those who would strip these poor creatures of the feelings of 
humanity and of the claims of brotherhood ! 

* I think this incident strongly marks the nature of the trade. 
No crime alleged, no plea of being born in slavery, no debt 
exists in any of the cases. But how is it possible to reason 
calmly on a business of such frightful enormity passing imme- 
diately before one's eyes 1 May God stay this dreadful scourge 
which has given it birth ! 

* Peters, the man who had those poor creatures in his clutches, 
is one of the worst and most profligate wretches I have seen 
even in this country. His language is impure and polluting 
beyond anything which is commonly heard, and his conduct 
corresponds to it. What a narrow escape have they had^. 
Can one help deploring the fate of those who are still in his 
hold, exposed to sustain his tyranny and caprices during the 
long term of a middle passage, for he has not got above a fourth 
part of his cargo as yet. 

^ May 13. — About sunrise a message came to me from King 
Jammy, saying that he was now at the wharf, and wished to see 
me. I found him lying in a canoe, exceedingly reduced and 
extenuated. He told me he was on his way to a famous doctor, 
that he had come to wish me good-bye as he did not expect to 
get better. He then thanked me warmly for having brought 


back his people from the American slave-ship to the day, as 
he expressed it. 

* Tuesday, May 17. — The Eliza sailed to-day for England ; 
and in her Witchell, Afzelius, a slave captain who had lost his 
ship, the Foulah Missionaries, and Millar, the carpenter, took 
their passage. 

• Our Missionaries seemed to be much more gay in the 
prospect of returning than they had been when coming abroad. 
I was shocked at their insensibility to shame on the occasion. 
Millar ^' seemed to feel parting with his wife, and he was still 
more affected by my telling him that I should take care of her. 
He thanked me with his tears, and I was pleased to perceive 
that he could weep. Antinomianism had not quite erased 
natural affection.' 


Freetown, May 17, 1796. 

Dear Selina, — That I have frequent opportunities of writing 
to you is far from being one of the meanest comforts which my 
situation affords me. The present one is furnished by a vessel 
bound to Barbados, full of slaves. To secure its safe convey- 
ance I shall inclose it, with some others, to Governor Rickets 
of Barbados, with a request that he will forward it by the first 

Dawes and Winterbottom will come to see you as soon as 
they arrive in England, and our secret will be safe with them. 
Dawes is one of the excellent of the earth. With great sweet- 
ness of disposition and self-command, he possesses the most 
unbending principles. For upwards of three years have we 
acted together, and in that time many difficult cases arose for 
our decision ; yet I am not sure that in the perplexities of con- 
sultation or the warmth of discussion, we either uttered an 
unkind word, or cast an unkind look at each other. 

You will be surprised, after saying so much, to hear me 
declare that I believe I love Winterbottom still more. He 
certainly is far from having attained the distinguished eminence 
of Dawes. But there is so much warmth of affection in him, 
and the expression of it so often bursts from him involuntarily, 
that one is constrained to love him. Besides, I was accustomed 
to look up to Dawes for advice and assistance, while Winter- 
bottom, on the contrary, has been in the use of looking to me 

* Mrs. Millar, a widow, who had been sent out by the Directors as schoolmistress, 
had married soon after her arrival. She remained at her employment with the full 
approval of her husband, instead of returning with him to England, where he went 
for a time to recruit his health. Macaulay says she deserves the commendations 
given her by her friends at Clapham, and evidently feels praise could go no higher. 


for counsel, and you know how naturally a dependence of that 
sort begets in a degree all the tender feelings of parents to 
children. He is a man of general science and great professional 
skill. He is also a serious inquirer after truth ; and though 
his religious principles are by no means so fixed as those of 
Dawes, he may be fairly reckoned a disciple of Christ. He has 
four sisters to whom he is so warmly attached, that he would 
scarce think it too much to drudge all his days in a coal-mine 
for their sakes. 

My health continues good, though I do not find I am as 
capable of exertion as I used to be. But my time is short, the 
Eliza is about to sail, and after finishing my letters to the 
Directors, I have again sat down this morning at five o'clock 
to tell you how deeply I love you, and what a satisfaction it is 
to me to feel, that though parted from each other so many 
hundred miles, yet that being one in Christ, we enjoy the 
privilege of meeting as often as we go into His presence ! To 
this I owe many happy hours. I seldom think on you without 
having my mind raised from earth to heaven. I know not 
whether this be intended by what our creed calls the Com- 
munion of Saints, but I experience the same feeling in its 
degree when I think on our friends at Cowslip Green, the 
Temple, and Battersea Rise. Thus, my dear Selina, do you 
prove a help to me even here. Thus do you assist me to serve 
my God better, and to love Him more. — Ever yours, 

Z. Macaulay. 

' May 20. — On Wednesday last Clarke had gone as usual to 
visit the Settlers in the country, but he found the doors of all 
Wilkinson's Methodists shut against him. The general pre- 
tence was, " Sir, we are Methodists, we are determined to live 
and die such, we will not change our religion for anything you 
can say to us." In vain did Clarke try to show them that he 
had no wish to make them desert their name or their party. 
They seemed to think he had some bad design in thus perse- 
vering to go about among them. 

* May 22. — Mr. Clarke preached both in the fore and after- 
noon from Luke xiv. 23 : *' Compel them to come in that my 
house may be filled." He was very careful in pointing out 
that the only kind of compulsion which Christianity allowed 
was persuasion ; and also, that the object of those who thus 
compel men ought to be that Christ's house might be filled, 
not their own party aggrandised. But all his care did not save 
him from the malignant insinuations of Garvin and Grigg, who 
said they were sure he would never have used such a text, had 
he not wished to shut up the Meeting-houses. 


^ May 24. — Mr. Clarke went to-day to the mountains to visit 
the Settlers who live there. On his way back he was accosted 
by Isaac Anderson, one of the delegates to the Court of 
Directors.^ He made many long and bitter complaints of 
ill-usage both from the Directors and me. He begged to know 
whether the Directors had induced the French squadron to 
come here, and whether it was by their orders that I had given 
up the place to the French. He had scarce parted with 
Anderson when he was accosted by another, who, in a very 
rude style, began to examine him touching his qualifications as 
a Minister. " Tell me your experience, sir ; then I shall know 
whether you are a man of God. I don't call fine harangues 
preaching ; that won't do for me. Your preaching must agree 
with what I feel, that's my test; if it does not, then I must 
know you are wrong." Poor Clarke returned home at night 
quite worn out with fatigue, and discouraged and mortified by 
the treatment he had met with, but still determined to persevere 
in the face of all opposition. 

* May 25. — I went up this morning to Bance Island, princi- 
pally with the view of cultivating a good understanding with 
Mr. Tilley. He was extremely civil, and exerted himself to 
make everything agreeable to me, by avoiding himself, and 
discountenancing in others, the swearing and obscenity which 
in general forms so great a part of the conversation of Slave- 
traders. He has got two rooms tolerably well fitted up by our 
carpenters for his own use; but the place where he sits and 
does business and also dines is highly disgusting. The smell 
o( rum and tobacco, the continual passing to and fro of natives, 
and the uncouth appearance and still more uncouth conversation 
of the traders who are met there form altogether a most offen- 
sive assemblage. I found a great many of our people at work 
here repairing the buildings which the French had demolished. 
Most of his domestics are from Sierra Leone likewise. 

* Alay 30. — David George told me that he had learnt from 
Grigg and Garvin that Mr. Clarke had abused all the black 
preachers, and that they had been busy in circulating the 
saine report everywhere, so that the minds of the people were 
alienated from him. He added that he did not believe it 
himself, and that he had given me the information that Clarke 
might have an opportunity of wiping away the aspersion. I 
acquainted Clarke with the report which had spread respecting 
him, and advised him to take some speedy method of contra- 
dicting it He seemed inclined rather to leave his justification 
to time; but on my suggesting that the present case was 

1 Tlie Settlers had sent two Delegates to England in 1793, ^^ ^^y ^^^ complaints 
igainst tbe Governor before the Court of Directors. 


different from that of a man whose character was aspersed 
generally, and that a particular fact being alleged, which could 
easily be disproved, it became his duty to disprove it, he 
acquiesced, and called a meeting of the preachers, who met 
him in the evening. Clarke mentioned the purpose for which 
he called them together, and how anxious he was to give them 
satisfaction with respect to the falsehood of any reports which 
might convey an impression of his entertaining for them the 
smallest disrespect. He had scarce finished when Garvin rose, 
and, with the utmost indignation, asked him : *' And is this all 
you have called us together for? Your character! Are you a 
Minister of Christ, and hurt at trifles such as these ? I know 
your drift. It is a scheme to fill your church, but it will not 
succeed. We do not look on you as our Pastor. You are come 
here as the Company's Chaplain to dispense the sacraments to 
us, but we have Ministers of our own." Clarke replied to this 
with the greatest mildness, saying that his object was to do 
good if it were in his power ; and that, as he thought his useful- 
ness and theirs was impeded by any variance, he had wished to 
remove that stumbling-block. All the others except Garvin 
commended him for calling the meeting. Garvin then accused 
him of wishing to introduce persecution, and said, " I heard of 
your sermon about * compel them to come in/ ** Clarke here 
appealed to some of the preachers who had heard that sermon, 
and who justified him from even hinting that a preference 
ought to be given to the Church. Garvin then accused him of 
being supercilious, and said Clarke did not make a companion 
of him. Clarke observed that he had too much business on his 
hands to spend any time in company ; but that he was always 
ready to receive visits from Garvin, or from any other person. 
Clarke's calmness and gentleness quite mortified Garvin, who 
broke out almost into abuse, and began to relate circumstances 
which had occurred in conversation at my table on a former 
occasion in a way to expose Clarke to the dislike of the 
preachers. Clarke, however, satisfied them on this point also ; 
and all of them, Garvin excepted, allowed that the charge 
brought against him had been unfounded. David George now 
got up and said, "The present business is downright malice 
and envy against one who is an apostle of God to us." Here 
Garvin interrupted him with fury flashing in his eyes, and 
there was now some fear that the meeting might have ended 
tragically, when Clarke interposed, and said it were better now 
to dissolve the meeting, which he did with prayer. I have 
deliberated much what in such a case one ought to do. It is 
grievous to witness such proceedings. But I have thought 
that it is certainly best to leave the vindication of His own 


cause to God, especially as the smallest interference of mine 
would be construed into persecution, and might tend to mar 
Clarke's usefulness more than all the malice of his opponents. 

*May^i, — The man who was lately rescued from the hold 
of a slave-ship begged permission to return to his native 
country. He had scarce gone away when it was discovered 
that some one had made free with my forks and spoons, and 
suspicion naturally fastened itself on him. He was pursued 
and overtaken, and my property being found on him, he was 
brought back. I felt more mortified that the hopes I had 
indulged of having inspired him with some sense of gratitude 
had proved groundless, than I should have been at losing the 
things he stole. On asking a reason for his conduct, he 
answered with the utmost unconcern that he could not think 
of going home empty handed : and that he had nothing, while 
I had too much. He would not be convinced that he had com- 
mitted a crime : he had only taken what he wanted, and what 
I could spare. I was quite amused with finding in a savage 
African the grand principle of the modern refined system of 

'June I. — We received intelligence of the death of our friend 
and neighbour King Jammy. 

^June 2. — A message came requesting my attendance at King 
Jammy's funeral. I did not choose to go, and Gray went in my 
stead with Clarke. They found the natives engaged in talking 
to the corpse, and in putting a number of questions to it with 
a view of discovering the authors of his death. In the coffin 
with the body, which was dressed in his best suit, was put his 
umbrella, cravats, and all his other finery. The master of the 
ceremonies then asked Gray to say something to King Jammy, 
on my behalf, who was his friend, and to pray for him. Gray 
declined this proposal, but Clarke gladly accepted it, and prayed 
for a considerable time, not for King Jammy, but for those who 
were around him. 

*/une 3. — A vessel sailed to-day for Barbados loaded with 
slaves. I took the occasion to send by it to Governor Rickets 
some suggestions with respect to the best plan of circulating 
the Cheap Repository Tracts through his island. I also sent 
specimens of the Tracts to friends in Barbados and St. Kitts, 
with letters pointing out their object, and the best mode of 
circulating them. 

* A vessel sailed for the Rio Pongo, and I took the oppor- 
tunity of sending to the Slave-trader Tool, with whom I had a 
serious conversation at the factory in the Rio Pongo,^ some of 
the most striking of the Tracts and a New Testament. 

* See page 128. 


^ Sunday, June 5. — Tilley was still with us; indeed I generally 
urge his stay whenever he visits me ; and I sometimes flatter 
myself that it is in consequence of this that a considerable 
change in his manners and conversation is evident to all. I 
took him of course to church, and made a point of his attending 
the Sunday-school, and I did not fail to call Tilley's attention 
in a particular manner to the performance of the native children, 
some of whom had been rescued from the hold of slave-ships, 
and who therefore furnished a fair specimen of what might be 
expected from the hundreds he yearly consigns to that state 

^June II. — Captain Ready of the Isabella from Liverpool 
dined with me. He appeared anxious to impress us with a 
favourable opinion of his humanity, and was therefore very 
liberal in his censures on slave captains in general, and in his 
commendations of that benevolence which led to the formation 
of this. Settlement. To strengthen the favourable impression he 
judged he had made, he told us the following story of himself. 
"During my voyage last year to the Gold Coast, a girl, who 
had been pledged for a debt, was sold to me. The girl's mother, 
unable to brook her loss, came on board with two other children, 
and begged permission to accompany her daughter. I was 
quite overcome, and really could not withstand her entreaties, 
so I permitted them to go. They were above the common run 
of people, and I paid them great attention, and you cannot 
conceive, sir, before the voyage was ended, what an afTection 
they all had for me. They loved me as a father, and indeed I 
could not help feeling something of a father's love for them ; 
and when I came to part with them I felt much, and as for them, 
they were like to break their hearts. However, I took particular 
care they should all be sold to one man." The beginning of the 
story had led me to hope that I should have had one fair act of 
a slave captain wherewith to gild the gloomy annals of the 
Slave Trade, nor could I believe for a moment or two that he 
had brought his tale to a conclusion. Habituated as I have 
been to African humanity, I was yet in doubt whether I had 
heard the account he gave with sufficient attention. The 
assumption of humanity was such a barefaced assumption, that 
I scarce knew what to say. But Clarke, less used to the jibculiar 
mode which exists on this coast of appreciating the worth of 
actions, began to set before him the flagitiousness of his conduct, 
and to remind him of the account he must one day render. 
Ready appeared quite dismayed by this unlooked-for attack. H is 
colour left him, and he said tremblingly : " Sir, I am but a poor 
man, and am kept by necessity in this trade. I detest it, but 
what can a poor man do ? In two years more I shall be well to 
do in the world, and then I intend to give it up and do better." 


' I was seized to-day with a violent fever which continued for 
eight-and-forty hours without a remission. 

^ Sunday^ June 19. — I was not so well yet as to venture out. 
The noted Captain Walker, known by the name of Beau Walker, 
passed to-day to Bance Island in an American slave-ship of 
which he is owner. He came on the coast with several vessels 
under his directions, some of which he had already sent off fully 
slaved. One of them had taken on board a hundred slaves in 
the Sherbro, when about a week ago the slaves rose, killed the 
captain, ran the vessel aground, and made their way ashore. 
The vessel not being insured, the loss is estimated at near four 
thousand pounds. 

* Clarke lectured in the evening. In his proof of the truth of 
Scriptures he was ingenious, but far beyond the comprehension 
of his hearers. This is an error his academic education exposes 
him to, but he tries to correct it, and I take care to remind him 
of it whenever I find him soaring out of sight.' 


London^ June 2^y 1796. 

My dear Friend, — Our voyage was a very pleasant one. 

We arrived at Bristol after a passage of forty-six days. On 

Saturday Mr. Dawes received a letter from Mr. Thornton 

desiring us to go to Cowslip Green on Saturday night, and 

stay the Sunday, in order to attend * the ladies ' on their visit 

to the schools ; but this did not prevent our visit to Miss Mills. 

Mr. Dawes, in going, said, * How shall we introduce ourselves, 

and how will they know who is who ? It is rather awkward ! ' 

' Oh, not at all,' I replied ; * they know all about us, you may 

be sure, and perhaps much more than we do ourselves.' We 

w^GTC^ received with great kindness, and in a very little time 

our conversation turned upon Sierra Leone. They all appeared 

extremely anxious to hear of it ; the minutest particular was 

listened to with pleasure and attention. Miss Selina was very 

particular with Mr. Dawes and me, separately, in asking how 

you spend your time and amused yourself, fearing you might at 

tinnes be dull, and seemed to add with a sigh, * How happy 

should I be in some of his anxious moments to soothe his cares!' 

There is indeed a great deal of kindness and goodness in the 

whole family, but in Miss Selina there is something so insinuating 

and soft that I do not wonder at the encomiums I have heard 

given to her. Her voice is extremely harmonious, and should 

you ever be low spirited, I think it must have upon you the 

effect which David's harp had upon Saul. She asked me if I 

did not think you disposed at times to be gioomy. I told her 


that was an observation I had made and mentioned to you, that 
after breakfast, when engaged in business, your look was so 
grave as almost to frighten me, and that I had told you of it. I 
said I believed it was put on, as at those times I could always 
speak to you on a cheerful subject with the same freedom as 
usual. I said I thought you far from being inclined to gloom ; 
on the contrary, rather of an opposite cast, though never inclined 
to a very high flow of spirits. She appeared pleased. We 
stayed here till nine o'clock at night ; indeed I had no wish to 
stir. We then set off in a post-chaise for Cowslip Green, where 
we did not arrive till twelve o'clock ; when, fearing to disturb 
the family, we stayed all night at the 5^//, a little, shabby public- 
house before you come to Cowslip Green. We went early in 
the morning to wait upon the ladies, from whom we received a 
hearty scold for staying in such a vile place. Unfortunately for 
us, Miss Hannah More was very unwell, so that we could not 
see her that day. Miss Patty also was not very well, but this 
did not prevent her going out with us in a post-chaise to visit 
her little flocks. I recollect what you said of her at Sierra 
Leone : * Patty More has the zeal of a seraph.' I did not much 
attend to it then, but when I saw her speak to the children, 
instructing and encouraging them, I was struck with the just- 
ness of your remark. I never witnessed a more delightful 
spectacle, it was charming even to distress, my heart felt more 
than I could express, and had it not been for the most violent 
efforts, my eyes would have betrayed its feelings. It was indeed 
a delicious treat ; how much did we lament that you had not 
seen it ; every person must be benefited by it, and teachers 
might here become scholars and profit by it. How can the men 
have been so blind to Patty More's merits ? it ought to have 
been a national concern, and so much goodness should have 
been married, even though it had been enforced by Act of 

The other ladies at Cowslip Green are also very pleasing. 
Miss More has benevolence seated in her countenance ; Sally is 
cheerful, lively, and engaging ; indeed it is a delightful society. 
We stayed there all night, and could not get away till the 
following evening. Hannah More still continued sick, but after 
dinner on Monday was so good as to come down and chat, 
though evidently much disordered by her asthmatic complaint. 
We left them with regret, and did not reach Bristol time enough 
to go to Park Street. We went there the next evening to tea. 
Miss Selina had a bonnet on the first night, but to-night was so 
good as to put on a cap, which gave me a very good view of her 
face. I thought it more lovely than ever. I cannot now enter 
into particulars ; these I will reserve for a better opportunity. 
Suffice it to say that I have never seen a more amiable, engaging 


behaviour than that of Miss Selina. There is so much sweet- 
ness in all she says, and so much mildness in all her actions, 
that the heart of a miser might be warmed to acts of generosity 
by the spark of goodness which he would catch from her charms. 
Remember me, I pray you, to Mr. Clarke, to Gray, and Garvin. 
This gentleman played me a slippery trick in sending home a 
letter about me, but I forgive him, as I feel sure it was well 
meant. I cannot avoid thinking of you sometimes with tears 
of affection. May you be happy, and may every plan of yours 
be attended with the blessings you deserve ! This is the sincere 
wish of one who can only offer an unworthy prayer for your 
success, but who affectionately esteems you. — Ever yours, 


^June 27. — Rodway, one of the Baptist Missionaries, has 
given me by his conduct reason to think highly of his prin- 
ciples. He has employed himself during the rains in teaching 
a school at Granville Town on the Company's account. At that 
place there are two meetings of Methodists, whose preachers 
sometimes seem to contend which shall bawl the loudest. Some 
of their expressions, as noticed by him, are curious enough. 
" May thy word be quick and powerful, sharper than a two- 
edged sword, to cut sin from joint to joint and from marrow to 
marrow." When praying for their friends, whom they conceive 
not converted, it is common for them to say, " Lord, take them 
and shake them over the belly of hell, but do not let them drop 
in-" I was again taken ill with fever to-day. 

* Friday y July i. — A ship arrived in the river. The captain 
said he and two other vessels had been attacked by Renaud. 
He made a shift to escape, the other two were taken. It is 
surprising that Government does not send a couple of frigates 
to beat up Renaud's quarters at Goree. 

^Afonday^July/^ — I was considerably recruited, but not strong 
enough to venture to church yesterday. Several irregularities 
having lately taken place from a power assumed by one or two 
of the Methodist preachers of marrying, I thought it advisable 
to make some regulations which might go to prevent the evil. 
Fearing, however, that this might disturb the quiet of those 
fannilies, the heads of which had been irregularly contracted, I 
prefaced the regulation respecting future marriages by a declara- 
tion that all previous marriages, however celebrated, should be 
reputed valid, where bigamy could not be proved on either of 
the parties. I also drew up some regulations relative to bastards. 
These being agreed to in Council, were sent to the Hundreders 
and Xithingmen for their approbation ; and after a debate of 
three or four hours were carried by a large majority. 

^July 8, 1796. — The law respecting marriages was published 


this day. You will see that in the framing of it, I stuck as close 
to the English Law, as laid down by Judge Blackstone in the 
15th Chapter of the ist Book of his Commentaries^ as our 
circumstances would allow. I also avoided any definition of 
who were persons in holy orders. No sooner had the notice 
met David George's eye than he began to exclaim most 
outrageously against it, talked loudly of the violation of their 
religious rights, and of the call there was to resist such acts 
even to blood. He came to Clarke to vent his rage. Clarke 
tried to reason with him, and pointed out to him that the 
law was not compulsive but declaratory. It declared what it 
was which by the law of England constituted a legal marriage. 
David's passions were too violently agitated to attend to 
reasoning. He then went to some of the most disaffected of 
the Methodist leaders, who, till he called their attention to the 
subject, thought little about it. 

^Jtily 9. — David George and his coadjutors were still busy in 
calling the attention of the people to the flagrant violation 
attempted of their religious rights. To-morrow was the day 
fixed on for carrying into effect their intention of a general and 
strong remonstrance. But David George, though he had suc- 
ceeded in stirring up the Methodists, was not equally successful 
with his own people, who are in general sober-minded and 
temperate men ; and though he laboured all day to give them 
his own views, he found them backward. The fear of losing his 
influence over them induced him to reconsider the matter in the 
evening, and he resolved, by the advice of Cooper, who happened 
to meet with him, to have some conversation with me before he 
proceeded further. 

* Sunday y July 10. — I was far from being well, but both Lowes 
and Guest being taken ill, and there being three others confined 
with fever, I was obliged to move about. In the evening, as I 
returned home, full of anxiety for these young men, I learned 
that there had been a tumultuary assembly of the Methodists 
to-day. The people were told by Garvin and Beveshout that 
their religious rights were now to be taken from them, and that 
it became them to act a firm part. A letter was then read to 
them which it was proposed to send to me signed by the names 
of all present. I felt grieved that a Sunday should have been 
so employed, and I began to lay my account too with such 
another disturbance as we had in June 1794, and was of course 
not quite at ease in the anticipation. On such occasions what 
I find the greatest cordial to my mind, is a retrospect of the 
last four years of my life. He who hath delivered us in times 
past has still the government in His hands. He will deliver us, 
if He sees fit; if not, submission becomes a duty to be i>er- 
formed, not by constraint, but willingly. 


^July II. — David George came to me this morning. He saw 
the mischief his intemperate conduct was likely to cause ; and 
as he grew more cool he began to tremble at it. I appeared to 
him as if I were wholly ignorant of what had passed, and 
welcomed him as usual. In his ordinary lowly strain he told 
me that his mind had been a little disturbed about my advertise- 
ment, and he had now taken the liberty of asking me the real 
object of it I told him with great frankness the reasons for it, 
in the same way as I should have done had I been ignorant of 
the transactions of the last three days. He said, " You have 
quite satisfied my mind. I see the Governor is right in what 
he has done. Some bad people wanted to make me believe 
you were going to shut our meetings." Having brought him 
to make this concession, I threw off my reserve. I told him all 
I knew of his conduct ; painted to him how peculiarly flagrant 
such a conduct was in, him, who had occasion, above all men in 
the place, to know that I was ready at all times to give a reason 
for my conduct; and concluded with saying that I should 
charge on his head all the mischief which his intemperance 
might cause. " The Governor is right," he answered, " but I 
will not stay to talk with you now. I will make haste down 
and try to prevent mischief." On going down he found the 
Methodist preachers met, and talking with much heat and 
clamour, and Cooper in the midst of them, endeavouring to 
bring them to a better mind. His endeavours, I believe, would 
have been in vain, had not David George come in. " I have 
been up the Hill," says David, "and the Governor has satisfied 
my mind. Take my advice, and do as I have done ; you will 
repent any hasty step you take. I will have nothing more to 
do in it. Mr. Macaulay is right ; and if you speak to him, you 
will see he is." Cooper told me that this speech struck them 
all dumb, and left them nothing to say. 

In the course of the forenoon, however, there was another 
meeting of them, at which Garvin was present. He took pains 
to persuade them of the propriety of still sending in their 
remonstrance and succeeded. Beveshout was delighted to 
present it This he did with many a low bow, saying he had 
hrouQht. His Excellency a humble and respectful petition from 
the body of Methodists. There never to be sure was a more 
barefaced misnomer, as you shall see. 


GeNXI-EMEN, — We have reason to believe that you have 
rntertained no very exalted idea of our loyalty and attachment 



to you on several occasions heretofore, and we are sorry that any 
cause should be given us to conduct ourselves in such a manner, 
as still to confirm you in your suspicion of us. But when we 
see our religious rights struck at, all regard for our own character 
is lost from our view, and our only concern is to persevere in 
our loyalty and attachment to the Governor of the universe, 
whose we are and whom we serve. We consider this new law 
as an encroachment on our religious rights ; and as such we not 
only mean to be inattentive to it, but to influence the minds of 
all we have to do with against it. Gentlemen, while you blame 
our fire, you must commend our honesty. We cloak nothing, 
we tell you openly and sincerely what we mean, and there may 
a time come when you will acknowledge * Faithful are the 
wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.' 
We must acknowledge that your advertisement is very dis- 
gusting to us, for we are Dissenters, and esteem it our privilege 
to be so, and as such we consider ourselves a perfect Church, 
having no need of the assistance of any worldly power to 
appoint or perform religious ceremonies for us. If persons in 
holy orders are allowed to marry, we see no reason why our 
Ministers should not do it. Our meeting-house we count as fit 
for any religious purpose as the house you call the church. We 
cannot persuade ourselves that politics and religion have any 
connection, and therefore think it not right for a Governor of 
the one to be meddling with the other. — We remain, gentlemen, 
with respect, your most obedient servants, 

(Signed by 128 names), 

* Having cast my eye over the letter, I told the bearer of it, 
with an air of perfect indifference, that he might tell those who 
had written it that their letter had proceeded wholly on a mis- 
take, marriage not being a religious but a civil ordinance, the 
regulation of the mode of which was the business of the makers 
of the Law and not of the preachers of the Gospel ; and that 
their fears of an invasion of their religious rights were alto- 
gether groundless. I thought it prudent to say little more 
then. Mr. Beveshout made a very low bow, thanked me for 
correcting their mistake, and said his own mind was satisfied, 
and he should satisfy the minds of the others. * But/ said he, 
* there is another thing we want. We want to have all our 
officers, Hundreders, Tithingmen, and Sheriffs changed. We 
want to have a new election.' I made a very short ans^ver to 
this. I told him that was still less the business of preachers 
than the other. There should be a new election when I saw 
fit, which should be when the proper time came, and with this 
he left me. Thus did this storm blow over, surprising me by 


its easy termination still more than by its unreasonable com- 
mencement. There has been a Petty Court instituted for the 
trial of slight offences, such as riotous behaviour in the streets, 
abusive language, and selling spirits without a licence, which 
has the power of punishment by fine, imprisonment, atid cor- 
poral punishment. The business of our Quarterly Court is 
thus much lessened. 

* When the business of the Court was over, I called the 
attention of a numerous assembly to the letter I had received 
from the Methodists. I began with stating from Blackstone 
what the English law said respecting Marriage. This being 
the case, I said, it was with some surprise that I had read a 
letter signed by one hundred and twenty-eight of the Settlers, 
in which they declared it to be their purpose not only to be 
inattentive to a law published on the subject of marriage, which 
was further sanctioned by the deliberate vote of their own 
representatives, but to do their utmost against it. Observing 
that the minds of my hearers were impressed as I could wish 
with this plain state of the case, I proceeded to show them, in 
the strongest terms I could find, the impropriety of such 
lan^age as was held forth in the letter, and to say that its 
spirit was that of rebellion itself. The majority of those who 
had signed it I believed were not aware of this. But however 
I might acquit them of a criminal intent, I never could acquit 
them of weakness, inconsideration, and folly. 

' In consequence of what I said I had scarce got to Thornton 

Hill, when numbers of those, whose names I had called over as 

affixed to the letter, came to me, some protesting that their 

names were there without their knowledge, others expressing 

the utmost sorrow for having been led to sign it. They told 

me that the letter had been read to them, but that they did not 

understand it ; and that Garvin had told them it was merely to 

say that they were Methodists, and that they meant to continue 

so. They had said that they had no objection to say so, and 

accordingly gave in their names, and this was all they knew of 

the matter.' 


Sidmouth^ July 20, 1797. 
MV DEAR Zachary, — I have had several letters from you 
since I wrote. We have also had the high satisfaction of 
seeing Miss Mills, who is still with us, and for whom we have 
the greatest affection and esteem. She has now lived with us 
near a month, and as we have had no other company in the 
house, ^we must have seen a great deal of her in that quiet kind 


of intercourse which lays the heart most open, and we have 
formed a very high opinion of her principles and dispositions, 
particularly of her ardent desire to improve both under the 
influence of the Holy Spirit. She is affectionate, candid, 
strikingly sincere, much more free from excesses and vagaries 
either in her opinions or feelings than is usual among religious 
young women, and yet with that sort of variety in her sentiments 
and life in her manner which makes her a very agreeable com- 
panion. If I know her and you, she will, as a wife, both 
command your esteem and suit your taste in a higher degree 
than you now suppose, even though most lovers exaggerate a 
good deal in their opinions of the object of their affections. 1 
have seen no particular marks of vanity in her, notwithstanding 
what we had heard, and I am sure she is far from deficient in 
feeling, according to the standard I form to myself of what is 
desirable in that respect. I have been trying to point out 
particular faults, but, though all her attainments must be, and 
visibly are imperfect in their degree, yet I can fix on nothing 
prominent, except rather too much haste in forming and ex- 
pressing her opinions, and perhaps they are apt to be too 
decisive. She certainly is not guilty of obstinacy in retaining 
them, but listens very candidly to any one who thinks differ- 
ently. After all, she is not rash and strong in her opinions in 
any striking degree, and I am uncertain whether this fault in 
her may not have proceeded almost entirely from female quick- 
ness of perception and vivacity, and indeed most women have 
more of it than Miss Mills. As I said before, she has greatly 
increased our affection and esteem for her ; and even if she had 
not the very strong claim on us which arises from her connec- 
tion with you, we should be desirous of a lasting acquaintance 
and friendship with such a woman. Her understanding is 
good, and her mind pretty active ; she is fond of poetry, but, as 
I suspect, has not a good taste in it. 

You know how sincerely we should rejoice at your alarm 
about the French proving groundless. The picture you give 
of what passed in your own mind at the time interested roe 
exceedingly. I heartily wish that on all emergencies I may 
be employed as you were on the occasion in question in some 
good degree, in searching after the spiritual advantage God 
offers me in them ! Except this is our main endeavour and 
practice, we cannot be said to walk by faith, or to have our 
conversation in Heaven. But on such occasions what a torrent 
of worldly agitation and anxiety rush on the mind with a force 
which we have no power of our own to resist, and which the 
flesh and the Devil would fain persuade us is irresistible ! How 
can those hope to weather the storm who have not made it 


their first care in their days of peace and prosperity to secure a 
friend in the great Pilot, and engage him to take up his abode 
with them. — Yours affectionately, T. Babington. 

^July 27. — Mr. Grigg called on me to-day. I told him my 
purpose of writing to his friends in England respecting 
him, together with the opinion of his character I had 
formed. His tone was very high and lofty. His peace 
should not, he said, be disturbed by anything which pre- 
judice might dictate or malice misrepresent. I told him that I 
was so far from being prejudiced against him, or from wishing 
to misrepresent his conduct, that I had taken the measure of 
sending for himself before I should venture to say anything 
against him ; and that, if the facts which formed the ground of 
my judgment were disproved, I should feel bound to relinquish 
the opinion I had formed. I then stated without any comment 
whatever the facts, and asked him to express whether I was 
accurate in my statement. He was not content with barely 
giving his assent to the circumstances I had alleged, but he 
avowed them, and seemed to glory in them. On the supposi- 
tion of what he said being true, I asked him to assign a good 
motive for spreading reports which he knew must create ani- 
mosities. He boldly replied, that with respect to the means he 
had used for alienating the people's minds from my measures, 
he considered it was for the happiness of a community to 
be divided in political sentiments. I availed myself of this 
strange position to rally him a little on his rather opposite 
functions of preacher of the Gospel of peace, and systematic 
promoter of political differences. I at length really began to 
pity him, for he appeared himself to be quite confounded with 
the variety of matter there was against him, and with the 
extreme folly of the whole of his conduct. 

*July 29. — Mr. Grigg came this forenoon to know what line 
of conduct I meant to pursue towards him with respect to 
salary. I told him that I should continue his salary till an 
answer could be had from England ; when, if not expressly 
commanded by the Court of Directors to observe a contrary 
conduct, I should cease to be the medium of conveying pro- 
tection or support to him as a Missionary. A similar discussion 
to what we had yesterday took place, but his tone was now 
widely different. He appeared to be quite overwhelmed with 
a s^nsG, not of the evil he had done, but of the inconvenience 
he had brought on himself. 

^ July 30. — Mr. Peterkin^ brought up some depositions, which 
had been made before him at the instance of David George, by 
^ The principal clerk in the Secretary's department. 


several people, all tending to show how industrious Grigg had 
been in exciting dissensions in the Colony. I sent for Grigg 
and read the affidavits to him, and proposed to him the 
measure of quitting the Colony to save himself all further 
trouble, and offered him a passage in the next ship to England. 
His high spirit seemed now completely broken, and he 
appeared so much an object of compassion that I did all in my 
power to raise his spirits by directing him to those considera- 
tions which I thought he ought to entertain, and to those 
improvements which might be made of his past imprudence, 
and of the evils caused thereby. 

^August I. — Mr. Garvin called on me to-day to beg that 1 
would furnish him with some means of getting off the Colony. 
I took the opportunity of questioning him with respect to cer- 
tain parts of his conduct. He told me, in an exulting tone, 
that both the Methodist letter and that of the Baptists (which 
had not been delivered) were in his possession, in the hand- 
writing of the original framers. I am not sure that the law 
would justify me in what I did on this information, but as I 
deemed those writings to be of a dangerous and seditious 
tendency, I thought I should at least have many precedents to 
bear me out in directing the Marshal to seize and bring before 
me all Mr. Garvin's papers, which he did, Garvin still present. 
But after casting an eye over them, it appeared that the papers 
in question were not among them. Garvin was violently 
agitated during the whole of this proceeding ; and when his 
papers were returned to him, he made the best of his way 
home, without waiting for an answer to his request respecting 
a passage. 

* September 3. — A little before midnight, hearing the sound 
of a good many feet moving rapidly towards my house, I started 
up, and the first words which met my ear were " The French are 
in the river's mouth." Terror and cdnsternation appeared in 
the faces of the Settlers. A decent-looking European x:amc 
forward, and told me that he had been carpenter of the ship 
Speedwell of Liverpool, a slave-ship trading at Cape Mount; 
that while there, about eleven days ago, two French privateers 
captured the Speedwell, together with the Company's sloop 
Ocean ; that there was then in possession of the Frenchmen the 
ship Atlantic^ which they had taken a few days before, bound 
from London to Sierra Leone, having on board letters for 
me ; that yesterday morning the larger privateer, on board of 
which he was, had called at the Bananas, and there taken a 
large ship newly arrived from Liverpool ; that this moming 
they had passed Cape Sierra Leone in their way to the Isles de 
Los, where they expected to take some valuable prizes. That, 


as they were crossing the river's mouth, they had met with a 
trading boat of one of the Settlers, on board of which they put 
him and seven seamen, giving them their clothes, bedding, and 
provisions, to carry them to Freetown ; that they had refused 
my brother or his people permission to return, in the hope that 
the offer of some great reward might tempt them to pilot the 
vessels into the Rio Pongo; and finally, that there was no 
intention whatever in the people on board to enter this river, 
as they apprehended their force to be inadequate to the attack 
either of this place or Bance Island. 

* September 4. — I sent Mr. Gray to Bance Island in the morn- 
ing with the news, and an offer of fifty to a hundred volunteers, 
if Tilley should think it right to send the Elizabeth Anderson 
in quest of the Frenchmen. Two boats full of English seamen 
were put on shore to-day here. 

^ September ^, — Mr. Gray returned from Bance Island. Mr. 
Tilley declined sending the Elizabeth Anderson^ and gave very 
sufficient reasons for so doing. 

* Being anxious for the letters said to have been on board the 
Atlantic, as well as for the safety of the Ocean's people, I re- 
solved on sending a flag of truce to the Isles de Los. The 
Providence was accordingly despatched, and in it Mr. Graham, 
who voluntarily offered himself for the service. I wrote by him 
a letter to the French captain, urging the delivery of the 
Oceans crew, and the private letters found in the Atlantic, In 
case my application should be fruitless, I wrote to my brother, 
directing him how to act when he got to Goree, and inclosing 
a few lines to Renaud (to whom both the privateers chiefly 
belonged), who, I knew, would be disposed to treat him kindly, 
and to procure, if possible, the letters for me. I likewise 
despatched a boat to Bance Island, to propose to Mr Tilley 
the sending a vessel, with the least possible delay, express to 
Europe, for the purpose of making Government acquainted 
with the state of jeopardy in which we were, and applying for 
assistance. In the course of a short time, by arming the prizes 
now in their possession, the force of the French will be too 
formidable either for this establishment or Bance Island to 
resist His answer, which I received next day, intimated his 
intention of complying with my proposal as soon as a vessel of 
his, now in the Sherbro, had returned. 

''September 6. — The seamen sent ashore from the French 
privateers began to be noisy and riotous. I caused one of them 
who was most forward to be apprehended, and proceeded to try 
him and pass sentence of whipping upon him in a summary 
way. I offered work to all of them till an opportunity occurred 
of quitting the Colony, provided they conducted themselves 


soberly, hut this was an offer which only one or two 

* September 8. — The American, Captain Benson, the same who 
appeared as my champion when abused by my old friends of 
Jamaica, and who last year wrote to you, inclosing a newspaper 
with his vindication of me, arrived in the river from the Gold 
Coast. He yesterday fell in with the smallest of the two French 
privateers which was cruising in the entrance of the river, 
while the larger was somewhere about the Isles de Los. The 
officers of the privateer breakfasted on board his vessel, but 
they showed not the most distant intention of paying us a visit 
ashore. He had been at most of the Forts on the Gold Coast, 
and among the rest at the Danish Fort of Accra,^ where culti- 
vation is carrying on at a very spirited rate. The Governor 
and other officers of that Fort are bound by oath not to deal 
in slaves, though from their situation they are bound to afford 
protection to Danish Slave-traders, while the trade is allowed 
to subsist. He spoke of the Governor and his lady as religious 
characters ; much regard is paid to religion both in public and 
private, and much is doing in the way of education. 

* September 9. — In the afternoon Mr. Graham and ray brother 
appeared. When the first congratulations were over they 
put into my hand a packet superscribed with your hand,- 
and accompanied by a note from the French captain to the 
following effect : — 

' " Abord de * LAfricaiity en rode des Isles de Los 
ce 22 fructidor. An 4*^. 

* " Monsieur, — Bien loin de vouloir amener monsieur votre 
fr^re a Goree ; au contraire je Tai men^ jusquaux Isles de Los, 
dans rintention de le renvoyer, car dans le moment que le 
bateau * est arrive je hatois a Texp^dier avec une peniche que 
je lui ai fait present. 

*"I1 estvrai, j*ai visits vos lettres. Vous n'ignorez pas que 
c'est la loi de la guerre, mais soyez persuades qu'il n'y a pas 
aucune de manqu^ et que c'est tout ce que j'ai pu voir jusq a 
present sauf Tavenir. 

* " J'avais Thonneur de remettre votre lettre k M. Renaud, mais 
c*est les loix de la guerre qui Tobligent a faire ce qu'il a fait. 
II y a arrets abord du bateau* deux de vos gens. Soyez per- 
suades que la premiere occasion je vous les enverrai. Salut, 
fraternite. VALENTINE." 

^ By a Convention which came into force on the ist of January 1868, Accra and 
other forts on the Coast became British. 
' It will be remembered that this Journal is addressed to Mr. Henry Thornton. 

* Providence, * Ocean. 


'The letters, as M. Valentine candidly confesses, had all 
been broke open and read. They were not, however, the less 

'The intention of the French was to proceed to the Rio 
Pongo and Rio Nunez, in which are four large slave-ships. They 
offered my brother the value of fifty slaves, and also a ship, if 
he would pilot them, but he declined. They made the same 
offer to several others, but they had not, at the time my brother 
came away, succeeded in getting one who would undertake the 
task. Their treatment of their prisoners was uniformly proper, 
and in some cases generous. They were careful in returning to 
individuals their private property. When my brother left them 
they gave him a pinnace worth about fifty pounds sterling, to 
make up for his loss of a quadrant and some other things which 
were lost in the hurry of taking possession of the vessel. A 
good many British seamen have entered on board the privateer, 
induced by the hope of prize-money. The discipline on board 
is very lax. All the officers, down to the captains of guns, who 
on board the Africain are twenty- two in number, and almost 
all blacks, eat at the same table with the captain. 

We have now a battery on the eastern extremity with five 
twelve-pounders, and one on the point beyond the watering- 
place on the west with the same number. In the centre of 
the town there is one mounted with two six and a few four- 
pounders. The guns we have, having had their trunnions broke 
off by the French, we have been obliged to make use of a very 
clumsy contrivance for rendering them at all serviceable; and 
I should think them not likely to stand above half-a-dozen 
rounds at most' 


Freetown^ Sept, 28, 1796. 
IVTy dear Babington, — I scarce dare to use expressions of 
sorroiv even while my mind reflects on the recent loss we have 
all sustained in the death of your excellent brother. His joy 
is full, for he has entered into that of his Lord. 

At present my brother is employed in his own department. 
I have nothing new to say of him, for, though I see a good deal 
of him, I really know less of his opinions, principles, and private 
conduct than I do of those of any other servant of the Company. 
No one speaks freely of Alexander to me, as they will of others, 
and he himself continues as pertinaciously silent as ever on 
those points which might lead me to some acquaintance with 
his views. I often speak at him, and that in a way which 1 
should expect would lead him to think a little; but there is 


no speaking to him but in a didactic way, which, with one of 
my perhaps severe disposition, is a way not likely to do good. 
I take care, however, not to lose any opportunity of trying to 
affect his mind with right views. What a comfort it would be 
to one in my situation to have a person, entitled to affection 
on other accounts, of such a kindred mind as to encourage 
an unreserved confidence. 

A letter from Miss Mills made me acquainted with the arrival 
of Dawes and Winterbottom at Bristol. I was pleased to find 
that she was on the point of accompanying those gentlemen to 
Sidmouth, where you then were. Had I had the wings of a 
dove, and a presentiment of the happy assemblage, I think I 
should have made long stages across the Desert of Sahara to 
have joined it. Unfortunately before reaching me. Miss Mills's 
letter had been carefully perused by the captain of the French 
privateer into whose hands it unluckily fell. In consequence 
of something she said in it of a vessel sailing for the Bananas, 
he was induced to call there, which he would not otherwise have 
done, and was so fortunate as to find at that place a prize worth 
ten thousand pounds, for which he thanks her. 

You will be surprised perhaps to hear that I have not the 
same earnest wishes to gratify in prevailing on Selina to become 
an African Missionary that I had while in England. The 
constant state of irritation and alarm in -which we have been 
kept since May last, and my own frequent indisposition, have 
rather tended to wean my mind a little from the thoughts of 
a permanent residence here in a family capacity. I will not 
venture to say that the situation in which I find myself with 
respect to her has had no effect on my health of late, but I 
can say that I have thanked God a thousand times for having 
crossed my wishes so far as that she should not be here at 
present, to share all the unpleasantness of our unquiet and 
restless state. 

May God's blessing accompany you and yours at all times, 
— Believe me to be most affectionately yours, 

Z. Macaulay. 


October i, 1796- 
My dear Selina, — I am much pleased with the account you 
give of the improved state of your own health, and I hope your 
jaunt to Sidmouth would contribute not a little to confirm it 
There is something in the economy of Babington's house which 
has always the effect on me of producing a tranquil state of 
mind. Babington's own mind, though uncommonly active, is 


always so calm and unruffled, and the beamings of a benevolent 
heart are always playing so visibly in his countenance, that 
every one feels a kind of sympathetic effect produced on him- 
self before he is aware. I have never met with any who handles 
those wounds which sorrow makes on the mind with such skill 
and tenderness as Babington. He has a peculiar talent of 
administering consolation to mourners ; and even, when he has 
occasion to convey reproof, he contrives to make the motive 
of love appear so prominent, that even then is one forced to 
love him most. 

I owe you some account of the particular manner in which I 
spend my day. I awake from sleep generally as the daylight 
enters my window, and I almost always get up as soon as I 
awake. After reflecting for a few seconds on the goodness of 
God in guarding me during the silent watches of the night, 
my first care is to run my eye, or perhaps a perspective glass, 
along the horizon to see whether there be any vessels in the 
offiing. I then proceed to dress, which as I always do it at 
once for the whole day, employs about half an hour. By the 
time all this has been done it is generally after six. After my 
devotions I read a passage in the original Greek Testament in 
order, comparing it, as far as I am able, critically with our trans- 
lation and Doddridge's very excellent exposition. Having 
done this, I consider it for a few minutes in a practical or 
devotional point of view, and perhaps put into words a few 
of those desires which the scope of the passage suggests. 
About five minutes more may be taken up in a general antici- 
pation of the work of the day, and in calling up proper con- 
siderations to strengthen me to meet with foreseen difficulties. 
I make also a point of employing ten to fifteen minutes in 
casting my eye over the passage which I am to read to my 
family, and considering whether there be anything peculiar 
in the state of any of them, or in the state of the place in 
general, which ought to be noticed in one's prayers. All these 
things, with occasional interruptions, giving necessary direc- 
tions, etc., fill up the time till eight o'clock comes, when a bell 
rings as a signal for all to meet. The time employed in 
family devotions is seldom more than ten or twelve minutes, 
for I wish to make it a point that it should not be a wearisome 
service to any. 

At seven in the evening I again generally retire. The first 
thing I do is to make a few memorandums respecting the 
occurrences of the day, which I only make very short, to serve 
me when I have time to write my diary. I then spend about 
a quarter of an hour in particular intercessions for all whom I 
am bound to have in my remembrance, and of whom I keep a 


list for this very purpose, in whatever part of the world they 
may be. After this I read a passage in the Greek Testament, 
and proceed with it exactly as in the morning. The time that 
is left after this before the bell rings at eight o'clock is em- 
ployed in bestowing a thought on our family exercises. 

In general, however, we do not separate till ten, when I 
employ a little time in reviewing the actions, trials, and provi- 
dences of the day, and making suitable addresses respecting 
them. After which I pass the time till I am disposed to fall 
asleep, which is seldom sooner than half-past eleven, in reading 
some amusing book, as history, lives, or travels. A few seconds 
then serve to commend myself to God, and a few seconds more 
to make me lose all care and consciousness for the next five 
or six hours. — Ever yours, Z. Macaulay. 

^November 19, 1796. — I called together the Hundreders 
and Tithingmen to-day, with the view of drawing their attention 
to the subject of a permanent constitution for the Colony. 1 
acquainted them with the outlines of the one I meant to 
propose. I told them at the same time that I had no further 
view at present than to excite attention to so important a 
subject, but that the final determination with respect to its 
adoption would be postponed till the new election had taken 
place in December. One of my chief objects in meeting them 
was to adopt measures for putting our militia on a respectable 
footing, a point of the first magnitude in our present state of 
uncertainty and alarm. I proposed that a Committee of their 
number should be commissioned to enrol every Settler capable 
of bearing arms; that the roll being completed, a division 
should be made of the Settlers into companies of thirty-five 
men each, that each of these companies should choose a 
captain, lieutenant, and three sergeants from among them- 
selves ; and that the sole appointment of the field-officers 
should rest with the Commander-in-chief To these proposals 
a ready assent was given. 

^November 30. — Mr. Grigg called on me to beg that I would 
use my interest in procuring for him a passage to America in 
a ship shortly to sail from Bance Island. 

* I advised him to give up thoughts of America, and to adopt 
the only line of conduct which I thought became him as a 
Christian, which was, not to shrink from inquiry, but to return 
to England, and give his employers the meeting. To this 
plan Grigg was altogether averse. He could not think of 
returning to England, he said. Should he fail in procuring 
a passage to America, he meant to engage himself as a clerk 
in some slave factory. I remonstrated very strongly against 


this strange resolution, and tried to convince him how far 
better it was to suffer than to sin. But all I could say pro- 
duced little effect. The more I reflected on this shocking 
determination of Griggs, the more anxious I was to divert him 
from it. It occurred to me that the declaimers against Missions 
would find it a convenient incident for their purpose, that one 
of the first men who came to Africa's sons, charged with the 
Gospel of peace, should himself become a dealer in slaves. 
I begged of Mr. Clarke to call on him in hopes of bringing him 
to a better mind. Clarke called on him, and though it was 
only a little after nine in the morning when he called, he found 
Grigg sipping at a large pint tumbler of rum-and-water. 
Clarke pressed on him the duty of going to England. " Sir," 
said Grigg, " what should I do there ? I could not live under 
such a Government. My principles are such that our tyrants 
would soon have me up. My principles would not allow me 
to live under our present rulers. A worthy friend of mine, a 
Baptist Minister, used to pray that God would either chain 
them or change them, end them or mend them, turn them or 
burn them ; and — would you think it ? — so infatuated were his 
people, that they would not allow him to remain among them." 
* December lo. — I was a good deal surprised to-day by a piece 
of information which our Marshal came to communicate. He 
informed me that York and Peters, two of our most factious 
characters, have been busying themselves in persuading the 
people not merely not to choose whites for their representatives, 
but to prevent whites from voting. Among the many strange 
insinuations they have used for stirring up the people's mind to 
what they propose, what seems to have the greatest effect with 
some, is the pleasure that will arise from retaliating a little on 
whites the oppressions they were formerly made to endure. I 
scarce knew how to receive this piece of information. There 
was something so unique in making a white face a civil dis- 
qualification that it really provoked one to laughter. 

* December 12. — To-morrow being the day of election for 
Tithingmen I resolved to be out of the way, and accordingly 
went up to my house in the mountains, which is now finished. 
It is situated about three miles off; and as a good part of the 
wood around it is now cut down, we have a view of the sea 
from It The air is certainly considerably cooler, particularly 
in the evenings and mornings, than at Freetown. The moun- 
tain is crowned with very deep and lofty woods, almost imper- 
vious to the sun's rays. Great numbers of monkeys and 
squirrels are everywhere to be seen. There are also deer and 
wild hogs in abundance. Within a quarter of a mile of my 
house there are no less than two very excellent streams of 


fresh water, one of which issues from a rock not above two 
or three hundred yards off. Here I passed this and the two 
following days in a way quite suited to my taste, without any 
interruption but from the kindness of my neighbours, who 
came to pay me their respects on taking possession of my 
house. They accompanied their congratulations with some 
trifling presents of the produce of their farms. My place is 
considerably beyond any of the Settlers' farms, and I hope it 
will be a bait to draw many out. 

^December 15. — On getting to Thornton Hill I found that 
the election was over. I was far from being satisfied with the 
issue of it, the individuals chosen being in general the most 
ignorant and perverse of our Colonists. I had suggested to 
them the advantages that would accrue to the Colony by the 
election of some of the whites, of whose superior information 
it would be well if they availed themselves. This suggestion, 
however, taken in connection with my intimations respecting 
a new constitution, was sufficient to rouse their jealousy. 
When it was known that -no European had been elected, some 
thirty or forty of the Settlers got together and gave three 
cheers. You see we have just the same passions in Freetown 
as in London ; and, in miniature, the same effects resulting 
from them.' 


Saturday Nighty February 4, 1797. 
I should deem it sacrilege to remain another minute engrossed 
by the cares of business. O my Selina, in what terms shall I 
express my sense of the mercies of the past week ! But let me 
tell you your letters have increased my esteem and affection 
for you in a degree which, beforehand, I should not readily 
have conceived. They have helped also, I am sure, to humble 
me. Indeed, Selina, you do not know how unworthy I am of 
you. * Lord, lift thou on us the light of thy countenance, and 
that will put gladness into my heart' You will be glad to 
hear that in the main He keeps me from indulging any repining 
thoughts on account of my want of that sort of society which 
my taste leads me to prize and to desire. I find a never- 
failing remedy for any thoughts of this kind in His Word, and 
thither He has taught me to go for comfort. The sin which 
most easily besets me is of a different kind from this. It is an 
impatience of temper, which gives mere trifles that advantage 
over me which is much less frequently obtained by occurrences 
of the first importance. This irritability of temper is one of 
the evils under which I daily and hourly groan. The progress 
I make in subduing it is so slow, as at times exceedingly to 


distress me. Through God's grace, however, I acquire a quicker 
perception of the evil, and a more importunate desire to be 
delivered from it. Assist me, my dear Selina, with your prayers, 
that this thorn may be made to depart from me. I have been 
stirring myself to watchfulness by various considerations, among 
the rest by the consideration of the pain I shall feel should my 
asperity of temper ever dim your eyes with a tear, or cause one 
painful emotion in that kind, generous bosom, from which it 
ought to be my earnest and assiduous endeavour to banish 
every cause of uneasiness and disquiet I confess, however, that 
this is not the consideration whereby I am chiefly incited to 
struggle with this distressing and harassing temptation. No 
such temper can be admitted into heaven. Such a temper 
forms no part of the mind which was in Christ. By indulging 
it I crucify Him afresh; I grieve His Holy Spirit; I cause 
God, as it were, to hide His face from me. Though often 
worsted in the fight, I would therefore still encourage myself 
in the Lord. 

I called on a poor European on Monday last who was ill of 

a consumption, and visibly hastening to the world of spirits. 

I knew him to have been rather a profligate character, and 

was not therefore surprised to find him in very considerable 

alarm and perplexity concerning futurity. I passed about an 

hour and a half with him, endeavouring to inform his judgment 

on the points most material to him at present. In this I was 

a good deal interrupted by the poor man's lamentations. What 

struck me as the most lamentable proof of the man's ignorance, 

was that though he was continually reiterating his cries for 

mercy, and declaring himself a wretched sinner, when I came 

to ask what were the sins which lay heaviest on his conscience, 

he said he could not fix on any particular sins. I was at no 

loss, however, to remind him of numberless particular sins of 

the commission of which I myself had been a witness. I set 

them before him with all their aggravations. * You know not 

even how to offer up a prayer to God,' I said to him. * You 

say you have never prayed, but how often in my hearing have 

you blasphemed His holy Name, and how often have I rebuked 

you for it?' He was not backward in acknowledging this and 

many other sins I mentioned to him, but they had wholly 

escaped himself. I would gladly have spent more time with 

him, but I was bound to the mountain, and if I staid much 

longer, I knew that night would overtake me in the way. I 

directed his wife to send for Mr. Clarke, and I mounted the 

hill, ruminating on the poor man's case whom I had just 

left. What a dream will life appear when we stand, as this 

man does, on the brink of eternity ! I was proceeding along. 


indulging in some such train of reflection, heaving a sigh on the 
recollection of the poor man I had left, and uttering occasion- 
ally an ejaculatory note of thanksgiving as I retraced seasons, 
during which while I was, even in my own apprehensions, 
sinking into the grave, I presented to the eye of sober reason 
a spectacle which made his case an enviable one, when I found 
myself, without being at all able to trace the progress by which 
I had got there, by one of those magical spells which our lawless 
imagination amuses itself with forming, stretched on what I 
conceived to be my own deathbed. * Why, my Selina, should 
one tear dim those eyes ? Lift them up to yon bright abode 
where myriads of the blest are surrounding their Redeemer's 
throne. Is there room for mourning ? No, my Selina! There 
is all love and happiness and joy. But is it Babington I see? 
My dear friend, you have come in time to close my eyes, and to 
receive from my hands a precious deposit. Be the protector of 
my Selina — of my ' Whether it was that I gave an involun- 
tary sob, or what, the little native boy who walked behind 
carrying my shot-bag, asked me, * My master, are you tired ? ' 
' No, Jack, I am not tired ; what makes you ask ? ' Before he 
had time to reply a parcel of humming-birds, whose beautiful 
plumage reflected the rays of the retiring sun, struck his eye. 
He pointed them out to me. I levelled my piece with mur- 
derous aim, clanged the steel, and flashed destruction. Two of 
them lay prostrate on the ground. I was at first pleased with 
my feat, my dexterity, and the prize; but I recollected I had 
no means of preserving them at my mountain, that before I 
reached town they would be putrid, and that I should not gain 
by what I had done even the gratification of an idle curiosity. 
' And how do I know,' I reflected, * but that at this very moment 
the callow young of those two murdered animals are stretching 
their little throats to heaven, demanding the food of which I 
have deprived them, while their shivering limbs in vain expect 
the genial warmth of their mothers to protect them from the 
cold?' I was now drawing near my house when I heard a 
heavy gun, which was soon after succeeded by three niore, 
which put an end to moralising. I halted, and began to think 
of retracing my steps, but I felt that I should never be able to 
descend the hill, dark as it would soon be, and fatigued as I 
felt The question, however, was soon decided for me, for, 
as I was doubting what to do, I squeezed my foot so severely 
between two rocks as to render it a matter of some difficulty to 
travel the short space that lay between me and Mount Pelier, 
I got there just as the sun was setting. But in a short time one 
of my servants came, with a note announcing that four strange 
sail (one very large) were in the ofling. 


The next morning, before the day had dawned, I set off and 
made the best of my way to town, notwithstanding my lame- 
ness. I was soon relieved from my fears by seeing the Settlers 
moving town wards with their goods, which they had conveyed 
into the woods on the first alarm. On getting to Thornton Hill 
I found the Eliza arrived, with two other ships. It was two in 
the afternoon before the Sheemess, the man-of-war which con- 
voyed them, came to an anchor. Captain Cornwallis and 
several of his officers came on shore in the evening, and we 
were much pleased with their manners and behaviour, which 
were much more sober and polite than one usually finds in 
men-of-war. It was not till the next day that I was able to 
get through my private letters. From Babington and my sister 
I had no less than twelve letters. What an amiable man is 
Babington! Surely there are few souls on which the linea- 
ments of the divine character are more fairly and deeply 
drawn. I knew you would like the Babingtons, for I knew 
you were kindred spirits. 

Immersed as I have been in the cares of business, this is the 
first day for this week past in which I have not been whirled 
round in the vortex of dissipation. My house was of course 
open to Cornwallis and his officers ; they passed most of their 
time here, and a number of them were always with me at 
breakfast and at dinner. But to make up for this I lessened 
my time in bed to three or four hours. Captain Cornwallis 
expressed himself as highly pleased with the change that had 
taken place in our bay since he visited it in 1768. I was parti- 
cularly pleased with him. Intelligence, courtesy, frankness, and 
diffidence are a rare assemblage in the character of a naval 
officer, but yet they are to be found in Captain Cornwallis, who, 
I understand from his officers, unites great firmness of mind 
and strictness of discipline with the most exemplary attention 
to his men and the most engaging affection to his officers. This 
is pleasant, but there is no mark of religion among them, except 
their generally abstaining from swearing, out of compliment, I 
fcaTy to me. 

On February 2nd I went on board the Sheerness. In the 
psLSsaigc out the Sheerness had taken a French privateer, some 
of the officers and men of which had been at the pillage of 
this place in 1794. I wished to have seen them, but they care- 
fully avoided me, not showing themselves at all on deck while 
I remained. 

Yesterday Mr. Tilley and another gentleman from Bance 
Island dined with me to meet some of the officers. After 
dinner the captain joined us, and we passed the evening in con- 
versation unaided by cards or scandal. I find it very difficult 



to support such conversations for a long time together when 
my mind is much engrossed, as it then was, with impK>rtant 
business, but on the whole we showed ourselves a good deal 
pleased with each other. All this, however, obliged me to work 
double tides. 

Wilberforce has written me largely with his own hand, and, as 
usual, affectionately. In Henry Thornton I never fail to find 
the constant friend and faithful adviser. I must now conclude. 
May your Father and my Father, your God and my God, make 
you his care. Assure yourself of the love I bear you, for I am 
with great truth, my dear Selina's most faithful and affectionate, 

Z. Macaulay. 

^February 4, 1797. — To-day I have been able to apply to 
business, as the captain of the Sheerness and several of his 
officers went over to the Bullom shore to-day. He deserves 
great praise for the order and regularity which he maintained 
among his officers and men while in the harbour. Not an 
instance of improper or offensive behaviour occurred on shore 
among them, so far as I have been able to learn, during their 

• February 8. — Captain Cornwallis dined on shore yesterday 
with his officers, and to-day, in the evening, he came on shore 
to take leave, having appointed to-morrow morning at day- 
break as the time of sailing. 

^February 13. — I called together the leaders of the different 
religious societies in this place, among whom was Garvin. 
After hearing what Mr. Garvin had to say in support of his 
charges against me, and my replies, the people acknowledged 
themselves to have been blinded by prejudice and misrepre- 
sentation. They begged I would forgive the uneasiness they 
had been led at different times to cause me. They now saw 
what kind of man they had confided in. They could not but 
acknowledge the pains I took with them. They thanked me 
for my forbearance, and hoped that for the times to come they 
would better understand their true interests. Garvin, however, 
maintained that he was right, and that we were all wrong. 

* This circumstance in Garvin's conduct, namely, his con- 
tinning to maintain that all his allegations were true, led me to 
consider the propriety of bringing his conduct to the test of a. 
judicial inquiry. He had no doubt lost all his popularity, bu^ 
the fickleness and caprice of a Sierra Leone mob might soon 
reinstate him in favour, when he might again bring forward 
the same allegations to disturb and inflame their minds. I 
thought it a point of duty therefore to put his allegations to 
the proof. Having no wish to answer any vindictive purpose^ 1 


judged a Court of Inquiry preferable to any other mode of 
procedure. This would equally put it in my power to require 
his absence from the Colony. An acknowledgment on his part 
that he had acted wrong would have done equally well, but 
this he was so far from being disposed to make, that he avowed 
and seemed to glory in what he had done. If he were allowed 
to pass without notice, the people by degrees would be pre- 
vailed on to believe him innocent, and to think that my 
supineness must have arisen from a dread of the issue of a 
public inquiry. 

* Wednesday^ Feb, 22. — To-day Garvin's trial came on. The 
jury found the whole of the charges fully and circumstantially 
established. On reciting their verdict to Garvin, I told him 
that from the first I had no thought of instituting a vindictive 
prosecution, nor did I mean that any specific punishment 
should now attach to him. All I required was that he should 
hold himself in readiness to quit by the first ship in which I 
could procure a passage for him, and that he should im- 
mediately give security for his quiet demeanour in the mean- 
time. He thanked me. 

* I was exceedingly surprised by the appearance at my house 
to-day of the lady (the Princess I should say) the offer of 
whose hand, I mentioned to you, I had been under the painful 
necessity of ungallantly declining about two years ago. Had 
I accepted it I should have been terribly cheated, for instead 
of the delicate girl she then was, she had now become quite an 
Amazon, masculine in her appearance and gait and stature, 
and resembling what she had been only in the features of her 
face. I was afraid she had come to renew her offers, not as 
formerly by proxy, but in person, or at least that she meant to 
exact some vengeance for the indignity she had sustained. 
But my fears were dispelled by a gracious smile which accom- 
panied an intimation that she had come with her husband, on 
a visit to a friend in the neighbourhood. 

• An American captain dined with us, and brought with him 
his surgeon, a Frenchman, a man of pleasing manners and con- 
siderable intelligence, who had been driven from St. Domingo 
by the brigands, with the loss of all his property. From him I 
had long and shocking details of the cruelties practised in that 
island. He talked with just horror of the enormities of the 
Revolution ; but I observed in him, as I have also done in every 
French emigrant I have ever conversed with, that fixed and 
rooted attachment to their country which makes them grieve 
for the defeat of her armies, and the capture of her fleets, even 
while they are cruelly shaken off by her, and bearing arms 
perhaps against her. " Ah, Monsieur," he said, " c*est encore 


ma patrie ! puis-je voir des mains ^trangferes d^chirer le sein 
de ma mere sans ^tre 6niu. D^pouill^ de tous mes biens, et 
proscrit par des certains sc^l^rats, je ne cesse d'etre Fran9ois. 
La gloire de la France m'est encore chere comme la vie meme." 
And this sentiment it is which, prevaih'ng universally, fills their 
armies, nerves their arms, impels their exertions, lightens their 
sufferings, and leads them, with a kind of frantic, enthusiastic 
valour, to death or victory, even while the monsters who hold 
the reins of government are the objects of their daily execra- 
tions, and while the souls of many of them weep over those 
individual misfortunes, as well as that general misery, which 
those tyrants have induced. The mad, chimerical expectation 
of being able to impose any foreign yoke on a nation deter- 
mined to be free and independent has singularly infected the 
politics of the present reign. But America and France will 
remain lessons to succeeding ages of what may be done by 
men, warmed with the love of what they, whether justly or not, 
deem their liberty ; and resolving to pay, not only their pro- 
perty but their lives, should it be necessary, as the price of it. 
What can an armed nation, actuated by no mercenary views, 
but fighting ^'pour letirs foyers^' possibly want ? The ground 
will yield them corn. The pastures will nourish cattle. The 
brook will quench their thirst. Their women and their children 
and their old men will till the soil, and weave the cloth ; and 
in short, to use words of their famous hymn, " Tout est soldat 
pour vous coinbattre^ 

* In the afternoon, when our party had become more com- 
pact, an interesting conversation arose on the Slave Trade. I 
am always eager to embrace such opportunities of fastening 
conviction on the minds of any, especially when I meet with 
one who, like my guest, the American captain, has engaged 
in that trade without previous knowledge or consideration. 
Captain Knight behaved with modesty and candour, and 
declared afterwards that had he had the same information, and 
been pressed with the same arguments six months ago, he 
should never have bought a slave, and that he was resolved 
this should be his last voyage. Time will try his sincerity. 

*At night I found my fever return with a violence con- 
siderably increased by the exertions I had been making during 
the day, and I passed a very unquiet night. 

^ March 6. — Another American captain dined with me to-day, 
an odd, but I should suppose rather a common character. I 
asked him his inducement for running the risk of the severe 
penalty which, in America, attaches to one who carries slaves 
to a foreign port. He said the hope of gain. This he thought 
would justify him in breaking the laws of his country, and in 


sharing the horrors of the Slave Trade. I asked him if he did 
not think the Slave Trade violated the divine command. 
" Yes," replied he, " that to be sure it does, but then it is only 
one fault. My good actions will abundantly make up for that, 
for God is good and just. When I am at home, I do a great 
deal of good to the poor. That will atone for the Slave Trade." 
It was not difficult to reply to this. "Aye, aye," said he, 
" religion is no doubt a very fine invention, and I think it right 
to uphold it. I say prayers in my family, I have grace always 
before and after meat, and I go twice to church on a Sunday. 
But, sir, I am no Methodist, I have no notion of being righteous 
overmuch. In doing this I do enough to serve God and keep 
up religion. I have nothing to do but to uphold the Church. 
As for my conduct, God has given me common sense and 
reason to direct me." There are many in the world who are 
afraid to speak so plainly, whose principles, I fear, are radically 
and fundamentally the same as those of this poor American. 

^ March 13. — The Company's schooner Thornton^ commanded 
by my brother, sailed for the Rio Pongo. Garvin took his 
departure from the Colony in it, in order to go on board an 
American ship which had agreed to take him from the Rio 
Pongo, the Company paying his passage. He was very poor ; 
and as well to relieve his distress, as to convince him that I 
owed him no grudge for what he had done, I gave him a little 
money besides. 

*Grigg also came to take leave of me. He had procured a 
passage in the American vessel which was to take Garvin, and 
was now bound to the Rio Pongo to join him. I gave him 
many good advices with respect to his future conduct; but I 
fear to little purpose. He said he thought it not required of a 
Christian to forgive his enemies till they had first asked for- 
giveness ; and even if it were required he thought it impossible 
for a man to forgive and love one he knew to be his enemy. 
What could be expected from a Mission conducted by a man 
i;irho could even talk so unscripturally ? 

^ March 17, 1797. — The American ship, in which was the 

French surgeon I spoke of, sailed last night. During his stay 

he paid me frequent visits, and afforded me of course an 

opi>ortunity of contemplating a little the present French 

character. There appears in it such a total abandonment of 

principle as leaves scarce room to question that the misfortunes 

vvhich have come upon them are dispensations of retributive 

justice. I really think that my friend forms a specimen far 

3.t>ove mediocrity, not only with respect to manners and intelH- 

g^^nce, but also morals ; but even he allowed that he knew no 

43'tlier measure for this conduct than interest, natural feeling, 


and penal law ; and he asserted his absolute disbelief of any 
higher principle being to be found in any individual ; all pre- 
tence to it, in his opinion, being art and hypocrisy. As for the 
Bible, he did not believe a word of it. As for the moral 
government of God, it was a fine subject of declamation for 
divines and priests, but, for his part, he did not believe that 
even any of those moral attributes belonged to Him which was 
alleged. They said God was wise and good and just ; but he 
could see no trace either of wisdom, of goodness, or of justice 
in any of his dispensations. Had He been what some would 
represent Him, could He have suffered Robespierre, Victor 
Hugues,^ and such men to fatten on the blood and spoil of 
innocents, as they had done, or would He have allowed such 
misfortunes to come on him who had done nothing to deserve 
them ? Would He not have punished in some penal way the 
above-named monsters? He even complained that God did 
not assert a control over men's wills, and did not banish moral 
and natural evil from the world, and said their existence was 
to him a satisfactory proof of what he alleged. How shocking ! 
Surely a people in such a case (and I fear with that part of 
the French called Royalists as well as with the Revolutionists, 
these are too prevailing sentiments) were ripe for the fate they 
have met with. There was no encountering such bold im- 
pieties and horrid blasphemies by calm argument. I was like 
to have got a little warm at one time, but the story of Abraham 
occurred to me. " Have I borne with him these hundred years, 
and couldst not thou bear with him one day?" I was not, 
however, quite silent, but on the contrary exposed the 
rashness of his assertions, and the unreasonableness of his 
sentiments, as much as his levity would permit. Conviction 
was not to be expected. I gained, however, one point which I 
had had in view, a knowledge of the prevailing opinions among 
the French emigrants on the important article of religion. 

^ March 23. — I was confined to my bed to-day with fever 
when towards sunset a man came running up the Hill in great 
haste, and told us that Renaud was off the Cape. Immediately 
afterwards M. Balthazar from the Isles de Los, and Captain 
Mills, of the Sally, a Liverpool slave-ship, entered the room, 
and confirmed the unwelcome intelligence. On the iStli 
Renaud arrived at the Isles de Los with two privateers, one 
(formerly the Bell) mounting twenty- two six- and nine- 
pounders, and upwards of two hundred men, and the other 

^ The Frenchman must have had some personal grudge against Victor Hugues^ 
who seems scarcely to deserve the company in which he is placed. He had l^c^n 
public prosecutor at Brest, and had afterwards been appointed to some comixkaua<i in 
the West Indies, where, during the year 1794, he was successful more thaxt once 
against the English. 


twelve guns and one hundred and twenty men. He had fallen 
in with, and taken, the day before, a schooner which had sailed 
from this place about the same time with my brother in the 
Thornton, who of course must narrowly have missed being 
taken. The Salfy lay at the Isles de Los, ready to sail for the 
West Indies with three hundred slaves on board. Renaud was 
so well pleased with this prize that he made Captain Mills a 
present of ten slaves. Some one was so officious as to tell him 
my brother had passed only two days before to go to the Rio 
Pongo, and had it not been for Renaud himself, who opposed 
the measure, saying that he did not wish to meet with him, the 
crews of the privateers would have followed the Thornton. 
They said that this day they had seen him within a few leagues 
of our Settlement ; and this account was corroborated by the 
appearance of the privateers in the offing. They seemed to be 
standing towards the southward under easy sail, and might be 
about seven or eight leagues off. This was no time to be ill ; 
indeed I had forgot that I had been so. I judged the chances 
were against his visiting us ; as he must have known, that with 
his force, he had nothing to gain but hard blows by coming 
here. Besides, I knew his real object was not fighting, but taking 
prizes. We had no vessels in the harbour to tempt him, and as 
for making good a landing, he was by no means ignorant of 
the insufficiency of his force. No precaution, however, was 
neglected for preventing surprise. The captains of companies 
had their stations assigned them ; the guns on the batteries 
were shotted, signals of alarm appointed, and triple guards 
mounted during the night. This being done, I went to rest as 
quietly as if M. Renaud had been a thousand miles off. I knew 
exactly the enemy's force, so that I could calculate to a cer- 
tainty, humanly speaking, on the means we possessed of 
repelling it. This calculation turning considerably in our 
favour, set my mind of course at ease with respect to the 
final issue of an attack; while I trust I felt confident on another 
ground, namely, that the Lord Jehovah would be our shield and 
buckler. I made a speech on the subject to our military men, 
in which, according to art, was mixed up a little warmth of 
expression, a little vehemence of gesture, and a quantum sufficit 
of such words as wives, children, liberties, laws, religion, and 
1 £ ves. They all pretended to feel very brave. 

• I am well acquainted with Renaud. He lived in this river 
for some time, and used to be often with us ; and even since the 
vtrar began we did him many kind offices, supplying him and 
his people with provisions when almost starving. He is, I am 
pretty sure, personally attached to us, and grateful for our 
Icindnesses; but the capture of our vessels, if they fall in his 


way, is what he cannot avoid. He has himself, I think, no 
wish to distress us, and it will not be without great reluctance 
that he will be compelled to visit us in a hostile way. But he 
is not himself master of his motions ; these depending in no 
small degree on his officers and crew. Should it so chance 
that I were to fall into his hands, he would be proud to render 
me civilities ; but who can calculate the mischiefs a disorderly 
rabble of French sailors, turned loose on the town, would per- 
petrate? In their present lawless state, the endeavours of their 
officers would do little to restrain them. 

'Jones, the schoolmaster, was buried to-day. Jones left 
behind him an only son, about twelve years of age, whom I 
have taken to live with myself, his mother being dead also. 

* March 25. — Though I shook off the fever last night very 
suddenly, yet it proved only a temporary deliverance, for this 
evening it returned with increased violence. Early in the 
afternoon Mr. Gray came hastily into the room and told me 
that there was a large ship in the offing. The abruptness of 
his manner agitated my nerves a good deal, though I have no 
claim to the character of nervous. I directed the alarm signal 
to be made, which served to collect in a very short space of 
time a considerable number of men. As the vessel approached 
I discovered Captain Buckle on deck, which caused scarce a 
smaller degree of agitation than if it had been a French frigate. 
He was not long in coming ashore and mounting the hill, and 
he came loaded with letters. I quite forgot all this time that I 
was a sick man, till at length I found myself quite exhausted, 
and unable to proceed even in reading my letters. On getting 
to bed I became more composed, and as I lay quite awake all 
night, I had an opportunity before the morning of looking over 
my letters, which afforded me abundant materials for the most 
consolatory reflections.' 


Sunday^ March 26, 1797. 
My dear Selina,— I have already pretty fully stated to you 
the history of the last month in a letter which I sent off to you, 
and which occupied nearly all the time I had to spare last 
Sunday from public and private despatches. I deem it no 
profanation of the day to have thus employed it. The employ- 
ment did not tend to divert my thoughts from those things 
which ought on this day to occupy them. I found I could not 
conscientiously have given a single hour of another day to this 
work ; so pressing was the call of business ! Will this apologise 


for me, or do you think I require an apology ? I remember 
Miss Sykes being exceedingly captious with Mr. Thornton for 
having disturbed her devotions by sending proposals of mar- 
riage to her on a Sunday morning. But she was not 

I have rather a long, and a very kind letter from Mr 
Thornton. I hear from him that the complaints of the Court 
of Directors have subsided in consequence of our letters by 
Buckle. He adds a paragraph, for which I feel truly grateful, 
and in which, without charging myself in this particular in- 
stance with an excess of vanity, I may take pleasure. * Your 
conduct is used to give us all satisfaction, and the pains you so 
evidently take will, I trust, by the blessing of God, be of 
essential use to the Colony. I do not recollect anything I have 
to animadvert upon ; if I did I would do it very freely.' From 
Henry Thornton this is a measure of commendation which one 
is not favoured with every day, though I ought to deduct some- 
thing for the softening influence of domestic society. He adds : 
'And now I will only add my hearty wishes and prayers that 
God may render you a blessing to Africa ; and, if he please, 
that you may return to much usefulness and comfort in your 
native country. My lot is certainly a most happy one, and my 
choice of an associate for life I have been directed in by a 
most gracious Providence. May you be directed in this of 
all things by the same direct hand. I hope the letters you 
receive from Babington and other friends will afford you no 
small comfort, and I sometimes regret that I am so much con- 
fined to matters of my business in my letters to you.' I have 
also a letter from Wilberforce, which breathes as usual a very 
hearty affection. 

Dr. Ryland of Bristol has written me a very kind letter, in 
which he expresses his obligations to me and his disappro- 
bation of Grigg's conduct, in a very satisfying way. But a 
letter from the Rev. John Newton convinces me that no small 
effect has been produced in the minds of the Baptists by what 
Grigg" has written ; and that Dr. Ryland himself, notwithstand- 
ing" the strain of his letter, is strongly tinctured with prejudice. 
There certainly never was any calumny more groundless and 
unmerited than that by which they would represent me as aim- 
ing at conformity, and meditating the persecution of sectaries. 
You will like the following extracts from Newton's letter: — 
* More than two-and-forty years have elapsed since I saw the 
coast of Africa ; but the remembrance of what passed there is 
always with me. I believe in all these years, a single day has 
seldom passed, scarcely a single hour, when I have not revisited 
in spirit the scenes of my wickedness and misery. How often 


have I wandered upon the land of your bays barefoot and 
hungry, full of envy and malice, and despised, yea pitied by the 
very slaves. Now I live in peace, have many friends, and a 
name, which deserved above all others to be written in the dust, 
is regarded by the Lord's people! What I suffered in the 
black man's country was of no apparent benefit at the time/ 

Seeing a large ship in the offing, I despatched a boat, from 
whose motions I learned that the stranger was friendly, and as 
I was going down to my little school, the messenger met me 
with a large packet of letters, which had left Liverpool at the 
same time with your last, but by a different ship. I could not 
of course expect any from you, but I received one from Bab- 
ington, whose letters are always cordials to me ; nor was it less 
acceptable at this time for containing much faithful admonition 
and kind reproof. How much ground have I for thankfulness 
that in him I have found a friend, who is at once the tender and 
affectionate brother and the faithful monitor. 

Still may the righteous when I stray 
Smite and reprove my wandering way ! 
Their gentle words, like ointment shed. 
Shall never bruise, but cheer my head. 
When I behold them 'prest with grief 
I Ul cry to heaven for their relief, 
And by my warm petitions prove 
How much I prize their faithful love. 

I am exceedingly thankful for the accounts he sends me of 
my sister ; but he speaks in terms of your health which have 
excited some uneasiness. I earnestly hope that your visit to 
Leicestershire may have produced some change in your health. 
There is a balm in the society one enjoys under Babington's 
roof, which wonderfully composes the mind, and the influence 
of the mind on our state of health is very considerable. 

I much fear you are harassed, and what you tell me of Miss 
Patty has afflicted me a good deal. I am exceedingly per- 
plexed in forming any rational hypothesis on the subject, and 
sincerely partake of all your distress on account of it. No 
dart pierces so deep as that which is shot from * hard unkind- 
ness* altered eye which mocks the tear it forced to flow.' But 
I would particularly request as much information with respect 
to the real or supposed improprieties in my procedure as you 
could fairly give me. You need not fear hurting my feelings 
by this exposition, nor I think need you fear weakening thereby 
the charities I owe Miss Patty. 

I have been particularly pleased, and I hope edifled, by your 
present of Leighton's Sermons. Your observations on him 
appear to me extremely just and appropriate. Mr. Thornton 


observed to me, * It is rather surprising that I, who have passed 
smoothly through life, should be a Calvinist, and that you, who 
of almost all men I know seem most to have been under a 
superior and controlling direction, should not be one/ But in 
truth I believe we are equally Calvinists. We may differ in 
our mode of enouncing the same opinion, but I am well per- 
suaded that two men were never better agreed in the view 
of what may be deemed essential doctrines than he and I 
are. On the same ground I feel myself united in sentiment 
with Leighton. We may differ in our phraseology; we may 
severally dread the use of particular terms which are become 
by use and example familiar to the mouth of the other. But 
avaunt all distinctions of names and parties ! We are brethren. 
We should all, I believe, be equally agreed that without holiness 
no man can see the Lord. 

You ask me if I like Thomson. It is a question which brings 
to my mind the days of ancient times,* when with him I used 
to skim the gay spring, fly through the blaze of summer, sweep 
over the bending fields in autumn, and tread the pure virgin 
snows. I would not say with him * myself as pure.' But many 
years have passed since I have been obliged almost to abjure 
the society of poets, for they consumed too much of my time. 
Without any design of doing so, I remember to have committed 
to my memory all Thomson's Spring, the greatest part of his 
Winter, and most of the striking pages in his Summer and 

I am indeed sensible of my defects, and my sins constitute 
a black list. But it affords me truly a hope that these evil 
tempers are on the wane, even whilst I myself feel their pressure 
more sensibly, that Henry Thornton, Babington, Home, Dawes, 
and Winterbottom are disposed to give me credit for my en- 
deavours to lessen their influence ; and that between those with 
whom I have been domesticated, and myself, I do not know 
that there has for one hour subsisted a coolness or misunder- 
standing, since I have been to this place. I used to be frank 
with Dawes on this subject ; and to this I believe in part was 
owing the total exclusion of every particle of jealousy from our 
intercourse, which otherwise my too forward zeal, and the 
strength of my manner, either in recommending or opposing 
particular measures, might have excited. I shrink at times 
from the recollection of the forwardness with which I used 
to obtrude remarks, and hazard opinions, or propose measures, 
when in company with such men as Thornton, Wilberforce, 
Gisborne, and others, for I am sensible that with such men 
diffidence in an especial manner became me. In this, however, 

* See p. 10. 


I must lay a good part of the blame on manner and habit ; for 
I really at no time ever forgot myself so far as not to feel my 
inferiority to them. I have sometimes wondered at retaining 
any share of the friendly regard of men, to whom, from the 
contrast it forms to their modest and insinuating mode of 
urging opinions, assumption must appear in colours particularly 
glaring. The diffidence which would become me in Pulteney 
Street, at Battersea Rise, or Yoxall Lodge, would not, I allow, 
quite suit the meridian of Freetown. There strong language 
and a decided and often peremptory tone are absolutely neces- 
sary. Unfortunately we are not masters of our habits. It is a 
saying as old as Horace, that change of climate changes not 
the constitution of the mind, however it may that of the body. 
But I trust we know what will, and that this and every high 
thing in us which exalts itself against the knowledge of God, 
shall be subjected through grace to the obedience of the Cross. 
— Ever yours affectionately, Z. Macaulay. 

'April 29. — In the afternoon I observed a small schooner 
come into the harbour, which from its size I concluded to be 
one of the small craft which trade about the rivers around us, 
but happening to take the spy-glass in my hand, I was struck 
at seeing none on board but whites; and casting my eye to 
the lajnding-place, I was still more surprised to see two men 
already on shore, who from their dress and looks appeared to 
be Europeans. Perceiving them encumbered with packets of 
various kinds, my hopes were naturally excited when the gentle- 
men entered, and making their bow, told me in such broad 
Scotch as made me stare, " We Ve come frae Scoatland, sir." 

* Before I had made up my mind in what style it was best to 
reply to this laconic introduction, which the strangers seemed to 
think sufficient to entitle them to a cordial shake by the hand 
at the least, they presented me with a letter from the Secretary- 
of the Glasgow Missionary Society, which announced them to 
be Missionaries come out under their auspices. After bidding 
them welcome, my first inquiry was for letters. I have only 
heard of the descent in Wales ^ by your letter. When I com- 
bine this event and the probability of its being followed by 
similar ones, with the state of public credit at home, I am forced 
to have recourse to the thought " that the great Shepherd reigns" 
to dissipate the uneasy anticipations excited thereby. 

'June 3. — The Duke of Buccleuch, with a load of slaves, came 

^ This refers to an expedition sent out from Brest which landed fourteen hundretl 
soldiers near Fishguard in February 1797. A large body of men, with Lord Cawdor 
at their head, collected to oppose the invasion, and finally the Frenchmen sor 
rendered to them. 


down from Bance Island in her way to Jamaica. Mr. Tilley 
had taken his passage on board, as there was no likelihood 
of a direct conveyance to England for some time. He came 
ashore along with Mr. Richards, whom he has constituted 
agent in his absence, and took leave of us. This was the first 
opportunity of sending letters direct to Jamaica since my 
arrival. I embraced it to transmit a good many of the Tracts 
and one of the Reports to that island. This last will excite, I 
doubt not, a good deal of curiosity, especially as in a letter 
accompanying it I have avowed myself a competent witness to 
almost all the horrid facts related in it. 

'Our Missionaries continue to study the Timmaney language, 
and are attempting the translation into it of various useful pro- 
ductions, containing the principia of religious knowledge. This 
will assist them much, until they shall have made such progress 
as to be able to discourse freely without the intervention of 
an interpreter; and till then one cannot expect any striking 
appearances of benefit, as discourses held through the medium 
of interpreters who do not themselves feel the importance of the 
truths they communicate must necessarily be feeble, indistinct, 
and inefficacious. The first preternatural gift bestowed on the 
primitive preachers of Christianity was that of tongues, and I 
think we may safely say that till we have used the natural 
means now in our power for the acquisition of the same 
faculty, namely, that of being understood by the people we 
address, no effect is to be expected from the unwearied labours 
of the most zealous Missionaries.' 




August 8. — I had long suspected, and I was this day con- 
firmed in my suspicion, that the Settlers were gradually con- 
tracting a more friendly disposition to the Slave Trade. At 
this moment there are two in the Rio Nunez, and three in the 
Rio Pongo, who are actually engaged in it ; to say nothing of 
the number who, without carrying on a Slave Trade on their 
own account, are employed in the service of Slave-traders, and 
thus are aiding and abetting in carrying it on. Mr. Lawrence, 
of the Rio Pongo, who arrived here to-day, assured me that a 
Settler living at present in the Rio Pongo had lately offered 
him a prime slave, which, however, he refused to buy I shall 
have an eye to this Settler on his return, as well as to all others 
against whom I can find legal evidence. 

* September i6. — News reached us of the capture of the Danish 
brig the Tabby, Captain Webb, bound from London to this 
river, by the Goree cruisers. She was taken on the i8th July 
within twenty or thirty leagues of the Cape, and was carried to 
Goree. Webb and his passengers had got to the Isles de Los. 

* September 28. — Understanding that Captain Webb had 
passed up to Bance Island, my anxiety for intelligence led 
me to pay that place a visit to-day. I learned from him a 
variety of particulars, to which till then I had been a stranger, 
as the mutiny in the Navy,^ the failure of Mr. Wilberforce's 
motion for Abolition, the prospect of peace between the 
Emperor and the French, etc. etc. I learned also with no 
small concern that a large packet of letters addressed to me, 
which were in Webb's charge, were on his capture thrown into 
the sea. 

* Webb had been carried to Goree, where he had continued 
for near two months without meeting any opportunity of 
coming hither, till at length an American Slave-trader who 
lives at the Isles de Los, of the name of Macleod, came there, 
and bought the Ocean, formerly the property of the Company, 
in which he gave Webb a passage. Webb reported Goree to 

* The mutiny at the Nore in May 1797. 


be in a very ruinous state, the gun-carriages rotten, the 
garrison reduced to five or six men, and the inhabitants very 
little disposed to resistance. 

* I found the Ocean, late the Company's vessel, at Bance 
Island. I thought it right to demand her formally of Macleod, 
who refused to give her up. I asked Mr. Richards for per- 
mission to take her, but he was averse from my doing it there. 
Macleod, understanding what it was I purposed, got off in the 
night, and made the best of his way to the Isles de Los. I 
believe I should have been quite justified in taking possession 
of her, as the Company's property. 

^ Septetnber 30. — On my return to Freetown yesterday I 
caused a small but strong battery to be erected, within a few 
yards of which, and quite out of reach of shot from the sea, 
there was placed a furnace for heating shot. We tried it, and 
found it to answer beyond expectation. A twelve-pound ball 
was thoroughly heated in seven or eight minutes, and a dozen 
more might have been heated at the same time. 

* From several quarters at the same time I was informed that 

very violent counsels had been taken by the disaffected Settlers, 

and that a deputation had been to King Tirama to solicit 

his help. I had also a moral assurance that what happened 

to«day was only preparatory to a measure, which a few had 

fondly cherished hopes of bringing about since the foundation 

of the Colony, namely, that of throwing off the jurisdiction of 

the Company's servants, and constituting one of their own 

number a kind of Dictator, who, assisted by a council, should 

rule them after the manner of the natives round about us. 

One man came to me, and told me he had reason to think an 

attempt was meditated against the powder magazine. So many 

distinct notices coming from different quarters, and agreeing so 

ivell with each other, I thought it would be faulty supineness to 

defer the measures necessary for preventing a surprise. The 

Europeans and about fifty of the Settlers were made acquainted 

Avith a private signal for repairing to Thornton Hill, where they 

would constitute a force far more than sufficient to repel any attempt which the disaffected might make. It was for 

occasions like the present that I judged it absolutely necessary 

to have some spare room in the Government House, and a 

strong fence round it. The one will serve for a kind of barracks, 

311 d the other for a barricade. 

* October 2. — Having considered it better to prevent the com- 
mission of any act of violence than to punish it afterwards, I 
g-a^e a public notification of my having heard rumours of in- 
tended violence, and of my determination to punish with the 
utmost rigour those who might unhappily be found engaged in 


perpetrating it. I caused it also to be made known that though 
no capital punishment had hitherto been inflicted here, yet that 
if one house was burnt I should undoubtedly cause those found 
guilty of the crime to undergo the sentence of the law, hanging. 
Indeed I had fully made up my mind as to the propriety of 
this measure, in case they had proceeded to execute their 
threats. " Salus Populi suprema lex est " is a maxim which will 
no doubt admit of certain qualifications ; but if protecting those 
under my charge from lawless violence be a duty incumbent on 
me to perform, whatever may be the risks, then I conceive in 
the present case I should be justified in running the risk of 
holding up my hand at the Old Bailey. If capital punishments 
be justifiable, then there is no argument which can be adduced 
in support of them in such a country as England, where they 
possess so many other ways of ridding themselves of dangerous 
inmates, which would not apply with much more force to Sierra 
Leone, when men should begin, in the most wanton and unpro- 
voked manner, to burn the houses and commit acts of violence 
on the persons of peaceable citizens ; and this as a prelude to 
the casting off all subordination, and overturning the Govern- 
ment under which they live. Whether my reasoning on this 
point were right or wrong, the notification to which it gave 
birth produced the desired effect, and saved me the unpleasant 
necessity of reducing my reasoning to practice. A face of 
loyalty was spread over the place for a few days ; all intention 
of violence was disavowed by all ; and even the threats which 
had been used were alleged to have been uttered sportively. 
As long as the mischief was prevented, I did not think it neces- 
sary to enter further into the business. 

^October 24, 1797. — It is with no small regret I have to note 
that Mr. Hood, who quitted the Company's Service a few days 
ago, on pretence of his wishes to engage in a trade of rice, has 
joined himself to a Slave-trader in the Camarancas. 

' I gave notice to all the native chiefs that in case the French 
were to attack us, it would be absolutely necessary for their 
people to keep at a distance, as if I saw them pressing into the 
town as formerly for plunder, I should fire on them from the 
Hill. They allowed the propriety of my doing so, and promised 
to issue the necessary cautions to their people. 

*You have heard of the noted Beau Walker, an English 
Slave-trader of these parts. He arrived at the Isles de Los 
lately in an American brig, being bound to Cape Mount for 
slaves. He had scarce arrived at the last place, when, exer- 
cising his usual barbarities on his officers and crew, they were 
provoked to conspire against him. As he lay on one of the 
hencoops, a seaman came up and struck him on the breast with 


a handspike, but the blow being ill directed did not produce its 
intended effect, and Walker springing up would soon have 
sacrificed the mutineer to his fury, had not a boy at the helm, 
pulling a pistol from his breast, shot him dead on the spot. 
His body was immediately thrown overboard. Thus ended 
Walker's career ; an end worthy of such a life. The vessel 
left Cape Mount, and it is supposed has gone for the Brazils 
or South Seas. There could not possibly have been a more 
inhuman monster.' 


Cowslip Greeny Sept. 8, 1797. 

Dear Sir, — ... I have not seen Selina lately, but I suppose 
she told you that Mr, Wilberforce brought his bride down here 
almost directly after their marriage. He was resolved to make 
her set out with an act of humility by bringing her to pass her 
bridal Sunday at my cottage and at my schools. She is a 
pretty, pleasing, pious young woman, and I hope will make 
him happy. His admirable book ^ has already reached the 
fourth edition, and thank God has made its way into the houses 
of many who probably never read a serious book before. May 
it find its way into their hearts also, and may the same Spirit 
which guided the writer accompany the reader ! 

I have been in expectation of seeing Mr. and Mrs. Henry 
Thornton here, but the arrival of the Sierra Leone ship, an 
unexpected visit from old Mr. Sykes, and, above all, the neces- 
sity of Mr. Henry's sea-bathing, will I fancy operate together 
to prevent their coming. They have a sweet little girl,* and 
Mrs. Thornton makes an admirable wife. He as usual over- 
works himself, and is not, I think, very stout, though certainly 
very happy. 

I suppose I must not neglect to say a word of Cheap 
Repository. It has gone on very well indeed, and the bound 
volumes have had an extensive sale. I lately had a large 
order from Philadelphia for Tracts from a Mr. Cobbett.^ He 

* Practical View of the Prevailing System of Professed Christians contrasted with 
Meal Christianity, 

* Miss Marianne Thornton, whose abilities, wit, and charm of conversation were 
the delight of all who were admitted to the privilege of her friendship during her long 
life. She died in 1887. 

' Hannah More received in 1800 a very civil letter from William Cobbett, dated 
from Pall Mall, in which he tells her of the uncommon success in America of the 
Xracts, and assures her of his intention to pay her a visit at Bath. She writes upon 
the back of Cobbett's letter, * This flatterer, on coming to England, joined Mr. 
Here's party and became my mortal enemy.' 



says that among the clubs, societies, and institutions, which 
have abounded in America, not one has been attempted for the 
instruction of the common people. He is resolved to make 
this trial if he can get support. — I am, dear sir, your very 
sincere friend, H. MORE. 


October 7.0^ 1797. 

My dearest Selina, — Before the sun had risen this morn- 
ing I was told a strange gentleman in the hall wished to 
see me, and found a Liverpool captain I had formerly known. 
I little expected the good fortune which awaited me, for he put 
into my hands a letter from you. 

You ask me to lay down some rules for you for curing 
wandering thoughts. Now really you have imposed upon me 
a difficult task. My plan for fixing my attention in reading 
the Scriptures is generally to read them in the Greek, with the 
help of a dictionary. I was for a long time particularly prone 
to this wandering during sermon. My plan for curing it was to 
note down with a pencil the more striking observations which 
fell from the minister, as well as the outlines of the discourse. 
For Clarke's sake I have also made it my custom to note down 
oddities of expression, defects in pronunciation and grammar, 
or looseness of argument, and thus made my critical humour 
subservient to the purpose of fixing my attention. But during 
public prayers I had not the same resource, and here it was 
that my propensity to wander gave me the most annoyance. I 
have knelt down with, as I thought, a strong resolution of keep- 
ing my mind fixed, and on rising have found to my mortification 
and sorrow that I had arranged the whole plan of an important 
trading expedition, drawn up an able reply to some objections 
that had been made to our proceedings, fought a battle with 
M. Renaud's two privateers ^nd sunk one of them, or enjoyed 
the delights of a meeting with you in Park Street, while I 
ought to have been employed in mourning over sin, pleading 
for pardon, or pouring out prayers and intercessions for all 
men. For this unfortunate deviation from the right way I 
have as yet found no remedy which immediately applies, 
except what is the general remedy for all cases of wandering, 
namely, frequent and earnest ejaculation and renewed watch- 

Wandering of thought during hours of retirement is another 
and very grievous evil. I am quite a peripatetic, and on 
principle ; for I invariably derive a greater fixedness of mind to 
any object which I wish to contemplate from a few turns 


across the room, than from repeated efforts of the mind, unac- 
companied by such motion. Do I wish at a time when my 
mind is perplexed to fix my mind on God, I can only do it to 
my satisfaction walking, pronouncing at the same time dis- 
tinctly my thoughts as they arise, but not of course audibly. 

But does any particular circumstance, not in itself sinful, 
press with force on my mind, such as a dreaded attack, the 
perverse opposition of particular people, the thoughts suggested 
by letters from friends, as from yourself, I often find it even 
useful to give way in a degree, and to make those precise 
points the subjects of meditation and prayer. Does a fear 
respecting you arise, I mingle with my anticipation prayers 
that my mind may be strengthened to meet even this imaginary 
ill should it arise. Do I witness a feeling of impatience arising 
in my mind on the view of the length of time we are likely still 
to be apart, and of the obstacles to our meeting, I check it by 
glancing at the Herculean labour which still awaits me of 
removing those defects which might make our meeting less 
auspicious. But after all my plans and contrivances and efforts, 
I find myself still the same dependent, inefficient being who of 
himself can do nothing. Do not complain pf disappointment if 
you find my remarks puerile and inadequate. I was myself 
expecting from you some aid on this point, and if I have gone 
into trifling details, I show at least my willingness to comply 
with your injunctions by putting down what at present occurs 
to me on the subject of them. 

Babington's letter was from Clifton, and highly gratifying 
and consolatory. Mr. Thornton's, in which were only eight 
lines, was long enough to give me the satisfaction of knowing 
that he had nothing particularly to blame: a negative, but 
from Henry Thornton no mean praise. I had a perfect recol- 
lection of Miss Hannah More's wishes on the point to which 
you refer, but when I was in England I barely mentioned them 
to Mr. Thornton, and for this I ha'd several reasons. His own 
mind was in a most tumultuary state at the time, and even when 
talking to him on serious business he would all at once 
interrupt the conversation by proposing some question, or 
entering into some details respecting Miss Sykes. It was with 
difficulty I could get him to fix his attention for above a few 
minutes at a time to my own affairs, which then, as you may 
remember, pressed for a prompt decision. 

You mention Home's uneasy state of mind. Poor fellow, 
his sensibilities are of too exquisite a kind. They may properly 
be termed morbid. As he often says in his own defence, 
there is no arguing against feeling, and if a man feels himself 
unhappy, he is unhappy. Yet surely the causes of Home's 


unhappiness are of a kind which requires an imagination, 
sanguine as his own, to magnify into objects of moment. The 
two banes of his peace are Missions and the Calvinistic spirit 
of his parish. With the ardent spirit of a Xavier he traverses 
the plains of Hindostan, or ranges through the wilds of Africa, 
the harbinger of peace and joy to millions. He sees their eyes, 
streaming tears of gratitude, raised to Heaven. He sees them 
bend the adoring knee in the name of Jesus. His rapt fancy 
changes in an instant the very face of nature. The wilderness 
is changed into a fruitful field. He looks upwards. He sees 
the happy millions who surround the throne striking a bolder, 
a more joyful note, as his success is announced. ' Hallelujah, 
these my children were dead and are alive, these your brethren 
were lost and are found.* The door opens, his wife and his 
child enter ; he starts from his reverie. He finds himself held by 
a chain which he cannot break. And all his brilliant prospects 
vanish into air! His mind immediately reverts to Sierra 
Leone ; and shame, regret, and dejection seize him. 

An extract from one of his own letters to me when I was 
last in England will show you I do not colour too highly. I 
had been urging him to come and spend a few days with me at 
Henry Thornton's house at Battersea Rise. In his answer he 
declines the invitation. * I fear,' says he, ' if I did come the 
pleasure would hardly pay the pain. I wish to be more 
indifferent to Missions. I fear everything which can nurse a 
passion which has been to me the source of much sorrow. 
What anguish filled the Carthaginian chief when, after passing 
Alps and Apennines, he was compelled to leave the City of the 
Seven Hills? I do not compare the men, but the disappoint- 
ment and shame of defeat. O how was my soul rooted to that 
rocky burning shore! What struggles had I before I could 
persuade myself to leave it! My heart bleeds while I call up 
past scenes. Rejoiced as I was to see you, you had hardly 
turned your back upon me, when I fell into a train of reflection 
which for a fortnight unfitted me for everything. A painful 
consciousness would, like a worm, feed on the joy I should 
otherwise experience in the society of Mr. Thornton and your- 
self. Pardon me, then, if I decline your invitation ; you would 
be sorry to see me again attempt to roll a stone which has 
already crushed me in pieces.* 

A vessel sailed to-day for Rhode Island, by which I took 
occasion to send specimens of all the Repository Tracts to 
a very worthy correspondent of mine in that quarter. Dr. 
Hopkins, an independent clergyman, holding, however, some 
peculiar notions which have given rise to a new sect among the 
Independents called Hopkinsonians. 


You are acquainted, I make no doubt, with Scott's ^ essays. 
They are indeed excellent. The first is one of the most pithy 
vindications of revealed religion I have met with. I read it 
last Sunday for the benefit of our doubting gentlemen, and I 
hope not without eflTect. 

You lament my wanting some congenial minds here. T feel 
the want, no doubt, in a considerable degree, but I should have 
felt it much more, had I not such a resource when I stand in 
need of relaxation as writing to you and thinking upon you. 
Clarke is indeed a valuable associate in many respects, and we 
perfectly understand each other, but he is not calculated to 
supply the place of such a man as Dawes. On the contrary, 
I have muqh to do in regulating his measures, and in yielding 
him counsel, while those points in which I require the aid of a 
confidential friend are rather out of his line. My brother, I 
hope, begins to acquire some small tincture of prudence. It is 
somewhat singular that all the reproofs I have had occasion 
from time to time to give him, all the animadversion, remon- 
strance, and expostulation I have used with him, all the various 
discussions I have endeavoured by every means to introduce, 
have never had the effect either of provoking him to forego his 
plan of studied silence with respect to all points of conduct, or 
of diminishing the good-humour and freedom with which he is 
always disposed to enter on any other subject. He always 
lives with me when he is in the Colony. The intelligence of 
those young men here, in whom from similarity of principles 
I might be disposed to confide, is by no means extensive. It 
also requires that a man should have a stronger mind than 
ordinary to be selected by his superior as exclusively worthy of 
an unlimited confidence. On the whole I manage tolerably 
well, and for the most part feel my mind not greatly disposed 
to murmurings at my lot. The most absolute peace reigns in 
my family ; there I meet with scarce anything to disturb me. 
VrVe really eat our bread in quietness, and my will is generally 
the law to all within our pales. This compensates for much of 
the disquiet I otherwise meet with, and proves to me a great 
and continual ground of thankfulness. — Ever yours, 

Z. Macau LAY. 

* December i. — In the evening one of our pinnaces, which I 
had sent out for intelligence, brought me a packet of letters 
from you dated the 15th of September. The pinnace, in going 
to the Isles de Los, had been chased for four hours by the 
French brig, but escaped by dint of sailing. Just as it got to 

* The Rev. Thomas Scott, author of the Commentary on the Bible, 


the Isles de Los, the President^ the salt vessel by which your 
packet came, arrived, and the pinnace left the Islands again 
before the privateer came up. We have since learnt that the 
President proceeded almost immediately to the Rio Nunez, 
whither she was bound, in hopes of being before the privateer, 
but she was overtaken and captured. 

* I sent for the newly arrived Missionaries, and was glad to 
find in them some symptoms of a disposition to mutual con- 
ciliation. It was not, however, without much unpleasant alter- 
cation among themselves that they were at length brought to 
pass an act of oblivion. 

^December 12. — To my astonishment and grief, Mr. Camp- 
bell, the Missionary at Rokelle, came to-day to beg that I 
would separate him from his associate, Henderson, as their 
tempers did not agree. He said that Henderson was too 
forward, considering the difference of age between them, in 
contradicting and opposing him. I spoke to him with great 
earnestness on his duty, which was to bear with his failings, and 
to set him an example of gentleness, courtesy, and moderation. 
He confessed at last that he himself might have been much 
in fault, and expressed his resolution of following the lines I 
had pointed out to him. 

* I have been exceedingly struck of late with the circum- 
stance that the quarrels which arise among men, especially 
among religious people, have their origin, not in any important 
difference of opinion, but in something which, when decided, is 
of no moment, either with a view to this world or the next ; or 
in some awkwardness or impropriety of behaviour in which 
there is nothing sinful, and which therefore we ought meekly 
to bear with, and, however unpleasant it may be to us, accustom 
ourselves to regard it as a part of that cross we are cheerfully 
to take up. By such a conduct an influence is likely to be 
retained over the party which would not otherwise be had. 

* December 14. — I took occasion to talk with Henderson, the 
Missionary, on the conduct he ought to observe to his associate, 
and was particularly pleased with his ingenuousness. He was 
much affected by my admonitions, and took them quite as he 
ought. It was plain that anything he had done to displease 
his companion arose not from intention, but from the heedless- 
ness of youth and inexperience, and ought by him to have 
been borne with all the tenderness of a parent. I afterwards 
saw them together, and brought about, I hope, a solid agree- 
ment and a clear understanding between them. 

^Sunday, December 17. — Mr. Clarke being absent, one of the 
Missionaries preached in the forenoon, and another in the 
afternoon, and both gave us discourses as little applicable to 


their hearers as could well be imagined. One gave us proofs 
for a future judgment, and reasons for it drawn from moral 
and physical analogies which might have answered in a debat- 
ing club of would-be philosophers ; and the other entered into 
a critical analysis of the Greek text of the third chapter of 
the Ephesians. What a needful grace is propriety ! 

* In the Eliza there came from St. Thomas on the line a 
nice little horse, on which I sometimes ride out ; though my 
time is so much occupied as to allow me too little of this, my 
favourite exercise. I think if I could enjoy more of it, it 
would contribute much to my health. 

^ Sunday y December 2\, — In the morning Mr Clarke returned 
from the Rio Pongo, and reported that it would be impossible 
to proceed immediately to the Foulah country, on account of 
some existing disputes between the Foulahs and the Susees. 
I was not sorry for this hindrance, as I had previously 
made up my mind as, to the propriety of a separation between 
the Missionaries taking place. 

* I considered that men who could so shamefully fall out by 
the way as they had done, and who, by strife and contention, 
could so openly wound their Saviour's cause, were not likely 
to succeed in a Mission so important and so delicate as that to 

* December 26. — I sent to-day for the Missionaries, and I was 
more grieved than surprised to find that their former dis- 
sensions had revived. One said he could not go on a Mission 
with such a brother, because that brother did not show him 
respect enough. It was objected to another that he wanted 
manners, for he would sometimes lean over the table, and 
sometimes wear his hat in the house. One man observed that, 
for his own part, he had no notion of doing acts of service and 
kindness to his brethren without a return of service being made 
him. I opened the Bible and read to him in the sixth chapter 
of Luke from the twenty-seventh verse. "Oh, but," said he, 
** he is as much bound to serve me as I am to serve him." 
In short, such unseemly discordance, such childish grounds 
of difference, I had never before been a witness of in any 
ra.tional creatures. Our meeting ended with my declaring 
the necessity of a separation, and assigning different stations 
to them. I thought it best that they should go out two and 
two, and to this they acceded ; and we managed so to pair 
them that none were joined together between whoYn there 
had been quarrels. What renders the conduct of these men 
nriore to be lamented is that they are men of considerable 
attainments in religion. They have knowledge, courage, and 
zeal ; but then they want, I much fear, the charity which never 


faileth. How true it is that one may give his goods to feed 
the poor and his body to be burned, and yet want that love 
which can alone stamp intrinsic value on the sacrifice ! 

^December 30. — I had all the white ladies in the Colony 
dining with me, Mrs. Millar, and Mrs. and Miss Campbell. 
Mrs. Millar is really in her line a valuable person, and she 
behaves with great propriety. Mrs. Campbell is a hard- 
featured woman, with a hideous Scotch twang, full as super- 
stitious as any native of Africa. She amused us with a story 
of some fairies who used to be very serviceable to her grand- 
mother, and also with a particular account of a certain being, 
the race of which she fears is now extinct, who, when she was a 
little girl, used to come during the night while all were asleep, 
and that regularly, and sweep the house and do many other 
menial offices. To this extraordinary being, who had the 
appearance of a little old man, who never spoke, though he 
ate heartily of what might be put in his way, she gave the 
name of a Bro\ynie. The daughter I had hoped would supply 
Mrs. Millar's place, and she really seems a well-disposed girl, 
but her change of situation, 1 fear, has had an inauspicious 
effect on her, and rather filled her with vain thoughts. How- 
ever, I hope to find her corrigible. You will easily suppose 
that the strange conversation of his wife must have been 
painful to poor Campbell, who is a man of sense ; but he bore 
it with wondrous good-humour. 

^January i, 1798. — A very thick haze in the morning about 
half-past six. 1 heard several guns fired in such a way as con- 
vinced me of their being signals of distress. Having answered 
them, I despatched a boat to the place from which the sound 
came, for we could see nothing. At three in the afternoon the 
boat returned with a naval lieutenant in it, and brought me a 
letter from Captain Ball of the frigate Dcedalus^ saying liis 
ship was aground, and begging immediate help. 

* I lost no time in despatching all the boats we could muster 
to Captain Ball's help ; and about midnight I received the 
welcome intelligence of his having got off without sustaining 
any material damage. He had, however, been obliged to throw 
twenty-four of his guns overboard. 

^January 2. — I filled the barge with fresh provisions and 
fruit. I set off in the morning for the Dcedalus^ and was very 
gladly welcomed by Captain Ball. He is an old friend of Mr. 
Dawes, and was with him at Botany Bay. He is quite the 
seaman ; possessed of some abilities, great courage, and great 
professional skill, but his mind little improved by culture. 

^January 4. — The Hornet sloop-of-war arrived to-day with 
several prizes which Captain Nash had taken, among the rest 


the Company's sloop Ocean, in which my brother had been 
taken in August 1796. Our harbour was now full of vessels. 
Two men-of-war, and two large privateers, with about eight or 
ten other vessels of different descriptions, formed a coup d*osil 
to which for these two years past we have been rather unaccus- 
tomed. But all this increased my troubles, absolutely calling 
off my attention from preparing the Eliza*s despatches, in which 
I had been engaging very busily. From this time to the end 
of the month I scarcely had it in my power to command one 
day which was not much broken in upon. 

* January 6. — I was engaged almost all yesterday in taking 
depositions relative to the prizes brought in. To-day King 
Tom, attended by a great concourse of natives, came to bring a 
palaver against me. The captains of the men-of-war attended 
from curiosity. The King, after expatiating as usual on his 
power and greatness, went on to say that he saw I was a bad 
man, and hurt the country. I begged to know what I had done. 
He said I had spoiled the price of everything in the country, 
and I must alter all that and give the old price. This I refused 
to do, and told him, in short, that I should comply with none 
of his demands. Whether the presence of the captains, or of 
so many of his own people, made him suppose his consequence 
hurt by this refusal, or what else might be the cause I know 
not, but he now got very angry, and said that I and all the 
people in the place must decamp instantly. I smiled at this, 
and told him he might act as he pleased. This gave such 
violent offence, that the King and all his courtiers got up and 
went away without my using any effort to stop them. Captains 
Ball and Mash, who were present, were quite alarmed, and 
began to ask what assistance they should render me. How- 
ever, I made them quite easy on that head by assuring them 
that a great deal more would be said before they ventured to 
attack Thornton Hill. 

* January 1 1. — I was alarmed this forenoon by the sudden 
appearance in my room of Captains Ball and Nash, with 
marks of the utmost trepidation in their look and manner. 
Captain Ball had in his hand letters for me, which, in his eager- 
ness for intelligence, he had opened and read. The letters 
were from Jackson at the Isles de Los, and their contents were 
doubtless alarming. A French privateer with a Spanish com- 
mission had come on the 9th to the Isles de Los. Her force 
was fourteen guns and a hundred and seventeen men, and she 
was prepared with stink-pots for boarding. From one of the 
officers on board, Jackson learnt that a squadron followed this 
privateer, consisting of a frigate, an armed ship of twenty- 
eight guns, and an armed brig of eighteen, and was daily 


expected at the Isles de Los. There was nothing, it is true, 
very alarming to Ball in this news had he had his guns, but as 
yet he had only recovered six of those he threw overboard. I 
suggested, however, that it was probable the French officer had 
thrown out the above intelligence only to embarrass Captain 
Ball, or at least that the amount was much exaggerated. I 
proposed to send a boat to the Isles de Los for further news, 
and that the Hornet and Eliis should go out to prevent the 
above privateer from getting to leeward and destroying 
the trade there, as was plainly her intention. Captain Ball 
adopted my suggestion, only that he declined sending the Ellis^ 
which I was very sorry for, as by one vessel going straight 
to the Isles de Los, while the other ran to the westward, the 
privateer must certainly have been intercepted. The Hornet 
went out next morning. 

* January 20, 1798.— The //^r«^/ sloop-of- war returned to-day 
froni her cruise in pursuit of the Spanish privateer without 
having been so fortunate as to come up with her. This was 
what 1 dreaded, and I had therefore made several instances to 
Captain Ball to alter his order, but Captain Ball did not see the 
matter in the same light, and the privateer, as might have been 
expected, escaped. 

* Mr. Jackson of the Isles de Los called on me to-day in great 
wrath. He had met with Captain Ball on the wharf, who accused 
him and his partner Powell of being traitors, and of conveying 
intelligence to the French, and threatened to carry them both 
prisoners to England. Captain Ball doubtless was far too 
violent on the occasion, and Jackson had a right to complain 
that no proof was brought forward to support so injurious a 
charge, but at the same time there is little room left to doubt 
that the charge is a true one. Their factory is the continual 
rendezvous of the French privateers, who religiously respect 
their property; and their principles are too well known to 
permit a suspicion to arise that a sense of duty to their country 
would stand in competition with their interest 

* The purpose of Jackson's visit was to request that 1 would 
vindicate his character. I plainly told him that it was somewhat 
extraordinary that he should expect such a vindication from 
me; for even supposing that I had nothing to allege which 
might be personally to his disadvantage, yet was he not the 
partner of a man, Powell, who, though an Englishman, had 
despatched Mariner, then under his orders, to pilot the French 
to Sierra Leone, and had afterwards shared with Mariner in 
the plunder of this place ; and who, in sending a craft to the 
Scarcies, and thence to the Bananas, to convey the news of a 
French squadron being at the Isles de Los, had taken the 


friendly measure of directing the master of the craft by all 
means to avoid this river, lest we should be prepared to ward 
off the danger ? I reminded Jackson further of his own conduct, 
while the French were at the Isles de Los, in resisting the 
solicitations of several Englishmen to send us intelligence of 
the danger which awaited us. 

^January 25. — This morning the Eliza sailed, and with her 
the Dadalus and Hornet, and the slave-ship the Quaker. 

^January 26. — The day being clear we had a distant view of 
the ships, and were surprised by the return of the Hornet, 
Captain Nash came in the evening and told me his sailing had 
been countermanded by Captain Ball, who desired him to return 
to port and wait the Dcedalus, 

* Sunday, January 28. — Captain Nash and some of his officers 
dining with me yesterday, it was agreed that the ship's com- 
pany should come to church to-day. Accordingly all the seamen 
who could be spared from duty, headed by the captain and 
most of the officers, were present, while Mr. Clarke preached 
from " Hearken unto me, ye stout-hearted." ^ The sermon was 
quite appropriate, and the seamen seemed to listen with deep 
attention. There was something peculiarly affecting in seeing 
so many stubborn knees bending at the throne of grace. The 
thought occurs that God may peradventure now bow their still 
more stubborn hearts under his yoke. God grant that some 
poor lost sheep coming up this day to the house of prayer may 
have found the way of return to the Shepherd and Bishop of 
his soul ! 

* January 29. — Some resolutions of the. Hundreders and 
Tithingmen were brought up to me for approbation. One 
respected the forming two Chambers, one to consist of the 
Hundreders and the other of the Tithingmen ; another respected 
the appointment of a Committee to wait on me in order to 
consult about the regulations it might seem advisable to adopt 
for the general good. To both of these I signified my 

^January 31 — The sale of prizes which took place yesterday 
had drawn a good many traders from different parts. The Ocean 
was bought by Jackson of the Isles de Los, and the schooner 
JProsperity was bought for the Company. 

* Sunday, February 4. — Captain Nash, his officers, and crew 
attended divine service, which indeed they have made a point 
of doing regularly ; and Mr. Clarke and I had availed ourselves of 
the very friendly intercourse which subsisted between us and 
the men-of-war to distribute among the seamen Bibles, Testa- 
ments, and Cheap Repository Tracts ; and both captains had 

^ Isaiah xlvi. 12. 


encouraged Mr. Clarke's visits on board ship, who gladly 
embraced the opportunity of giving the seamen religious advice 
and instruction. 

* February 7. — Captain Ball put into my hands a letter he had 
received from Jackson at the Isles de Los, in which, by way of 
revenging the supposed injuries I had done him, he revived the 
obsolete charge of my assisting the French with provisions and 
stores to fit out privateers for sea ; and informed him, as a proof 
of it, that I was extremely popular at Goree, a fact I was before 
a stranger to. Captain Ball had known Mr. Dawes, who 
governed here at the time alluded to by Jackson, very intimately. 
He might have harboured some doubt of me, who was a stranger 
to him ; but he was too well acquainted with Dawes's undeviat- 
ing rectitude and unbending firmness of principle to harbour a 
single doubt on the subject after perceiving, from documents I 
placed in his hands, that he was the principal party in the trans- 
actions alluded to ; which indeed, notwithstanding the exagger- 
ated representation which the enemies of the Colony have made 
of them from time to time, were barely common offices of 
humanity, such as furnishing Renaud occasionally with a little 
wine and medicine for his sick ; and once, when he and his 
people were much distressed, with two casks of port. Captain 
Ball made rather a sharp reply to Jackson's letter, telling him 
that he had left it with me. 

* Thursday y February 8, 1798. — The captains being desirous 
to visit Bance Island before their departure, I took them up 
to-day in my barge, and Mr. Richards, as might be expected, 
exerted himself tc^ do them honour. While Richards and I 
were engaged together the captains found their way to the 
slave-yard, the horrors of which they contemplated for some 
time. On their return, they both told me that the view of 
human wretchedness there exhibited surpassed any notion they 
had previously formed of it Captain Ball said that the sight 
of the poor creatures penned up, and lying about on the ground, 
naked, waiting a market, while their countenances exhibited 
blank despair or marked dejection, was to him of all sights he 
had ever witnessed the most shocking. The impression which 
it had made on his mind was so strong, that he seemed to be 
under some uneasiness till he had given vent to his indignation. 
Accordingly, no sooner had Richards given as a toast an 
honourable and speedy termination of the war, than Ball cried, 
" Come, let us drink the speedy termination of a still more 
enormous evil, the Slave Trade." Richards opened his mouth 
to say something of an extenuating nature, but Ball stopt him 
by observing with some vehemence, " What can any man of 
common feeling allege in its behalf? It is indeed a cursed 


trade. I pray God (turning to me) that your friends' labours 
to abolish it may at length meet the success they deserve," 

* Aprils. — 1 mean to use my influence with King Tom to lead 
him to employ his captives in cultivation, and to try to attach 
them to him by benefits ; whereby his power and also his 
wealth Vould be much promoted. 

* I received the intelligence that Mr. Jackson of the Isles de 
Los had been drowned a few days ago, with about thirty slaves 
who were with him, in a craft which overset on the Rio Pongo 
bar. He had been up that river, and procured the slaves from 
the factories there. The slaves were chained, and could make 
no effort to save their lives. 

^ April 20. — This morning the appearance of a man-of-war 
boat, with a midshipman on board, relieved us from the alarm 
of yesterday, and we found the vessel seen yesterday was the 
Pearl frigate, Captain Ballard, bound hither, and having Mr. 
Ludlam^ on board. Captain Ballard had with him a small 
Spanish brig which he had captured off Teneriffe. 

* Sunday y April 22, — While I was employed with our Sunday- 
school in the morning, a person came to give me a very im- 
portant piece of intelligence. He said that on Friday morning 
he had seen some large vessels, one or two of which seemed to 
have Spanish colours, standing in to the Isles de Los. They 
appeared five in number, and three of them seemed to be large 
fighting ships. I went to meet Captain Ballard, who with all his 
crew was on the way to church, and gave him the information 
I had received. He immediately resolved on going out with 
the tide in the afternoon, and trying the enemy's strength. We 
had nearly all the people belonging to the Pearl in church ; 
and I was in great hopes when Clarke gave out his text, " God 
is Love," to have heard a heart-affecting discourse. Conceive 
my mortification then at hearing a laboured proof from reason 
without any practical application ; the whole so ornamented 
ivith allusions to classical authors, and so interspersed with the 
names of Roman and Greek writers, as to give it more the air 
of a prize dissertation than of an evangelical sermon. Mr. 
Ludlam, as well as myself, was miserably disappointed. 

* I have been labouring a good deal to counteract this false 
taste in Clarke; but I have begun to fear that the only effect 
produced is one, natural enough where the workings of corrupt 
nature are allowed any play, I mean a greater leaning to the 
forbidden indulgence. His attachment to a style far removed 
from simplicity I noticed some time ago. I soon perceived 
that it exceedingly interfered with his usefulness, and I enter- 

* Mr. Ludlam had been sent out by the Chairman with the view of his being 
trained to sacceed as Governor of the Colony at some future period. 


tained considerable hopes that that consideration alone would 
have given weight to my friendly suggestions on the subject. 
He has been so far, however, from seeing the matter in the 
same light as myself, that from the same principle perhaps 
which Arminianises our friend Home, he has rather wandered 
farther from simplicity. I have forborne, however, for some 
time past to urge him on the point, in the hope that his own 
good sense and piety, both of which he possesses in no common 
measure, will lead him to adopt another plan. 

'After service Captain Ballard arranged with me certain 
signals whereby I should know exactly the issue of his cruise. 
He then set about unmooring the frigate, but it took so much 
time, that he was obliged to defer going out till the next day. 

^ April 23. — The Pearl sailed to-day for the Isles de Los, I 
furnishing Captain Ballard with a pilot. Judging that little 
time was to be lost in taking measures for preserving the Com- 
pany's property and securing the place, I called together some 
of the Hundreders and Tithingmen, and proposed that the 
whole body of the Colonists should be summoned to give their 
labour to strengthening and repairing our works. They were 
unanimous in acceding to my proposal. In company with 
Mr. Ludlam I took a view of our different constructions for 
defence, and as far as our inexperience would permit, we 
devised expedients for more effectually securing ourselves and 
annoying the enemy. I at the same time advised all our 
vessels in the river to be loaded with the most valuable part of 
the Company's property, and to be in readiness to proceed up 
the river. Our books and papers were packed up, and part 
sent on board, and part to the mountains. 

^ April 26. — I was much pleased to find the people engage 
with cheerfulness and alacrity every day in repairing the 

* About noon the Pearl hove in sight, and as soon as I could 
distinguish her signals, I had the pain to read that the enemy's 
force was superior to hers. I made the alarm signal in order 
to collect the people, and immediately went on board. On 
Tuesday afternoon the Pearl made the Isles de Los, and dis- 
covered at Factory Island a large vessel. It was plain she 
could put to sea at a moment's warning. This circumstance 
decided Captain Ballard to prefer the channel between Craw- 
ford's Island and Factory Island, although there lay directly in 
his way no less than five vessels, because from their situation, 
however superior they might be to him in metal, he saw they 
could not prevent his escape. He had disguised his ship so as 
to be taken for a Guineaman, and the bait seemed at first to take, 
for a little armed brig came out to meet him, but soon put 


back. He was now within a mile and a half of them, and 
could perceive the bustle and confusion to be very great. 
They began to fire at the Pearl very fast, but without doing 
him any damage. Their force appeared to him then to be two 
large frigates, and an armed brig with two merchantmen or 
transports. The tide and the wind would not admit of his 
retiring, so that he took the resolution of going on. The Pearl 
was doubtless at this time in rather a perilous situation. The 
breeze was very gentle so that she would have been exposed 
to a heavy fire on both sides from two frigates, both superior 
in size, while the other large ship, which had already got 
under weigh from Factory Island, would probably be in time 
to block up the passage and prevent her escape. Captain 
Ballard pushed on, reserving his fire till he found himself fairly 
between the enemy's ships, when he began to play upon them 
from both sides. He was agreeably surprised to find that the 
vessel on his right hand, which he had taken for a frigate, and 
which, even when alongside, had every appearance of one, did 
not return a gun, which led him to conclude that it must be a 
frigate converted into a transport. The frigate on his left 
hand, which mounted forty-four guns, kept up meanwhile a 
constant fire, without doing, however, any further damage to 
the Pearl than carrying away a topgallant yard, and dismount- 
ing one of the quarter-deck guns. One man only was wounded, 
and that slightly. Could Captain Ballard have ventured to 
stay a little longer, he thought himself that he must have 
carried this frigate, but his uncertainty with respect to her 
consort's force, and the certainty that, were he to remain even 
half an hour longer where he was, he should be completely cut 
off from a retreat, decided him not to expose His Majesty's 
ship to so imminent a hazard. He accordingly pushed on in 
order to clear the channel before the other vessel intercepted 
him, and this he effected ; after which he steered his course for 
this place. 

* On the news there appeared many marks of consternation 
in the place. So expeditious were the people that before seven 
o'clock at night I believe there was little of the Settlers' 
property left in town. I thought it unnecessary to interrupt 
them in this work ; but when it was over they came in con- 
siderable numbers, and before midnight had dragged a heavy 
tw^elve-pounder to the spot on Wansey Hill on which I meant 
to place it by the captain's advice. 

* Mr. Richards of Bance Island being here to-day, I concerted 
with him the measures requisite for securing the Naimbanna, 
Prosperity y and other craft, in one of the creeks beyond Bance 


'Captain Ballard put into my hands his Spanish prize, 
requesting me to dispose of it for him, which I agreed to do. 
He was so obliging as to exchange with me for various artides 
a St. Jago bull and two English rams, with the view of im- 
proving our breed. 

^ April 27. — The Pearl sailed this morning for Cai>e Coast 
Castle in order to join the Sheerness, The propriety of the 
measure could not be disputed, but her departure threw a 
momentary damp over all our minds. We now felt, however, 
more strongly than before the necessity for vigorous exertion, 
as we should have to fight our own battle. The Settlers agreed 
to give their labour towards fortifying the town. 

* It may indeed fairly be asked why works of defence should 
be delayed to the hour of danger. But the inertness of our 
Colonists requires the presence of danger to rouse it into exer- 
tion, and it is of such occasions that I have been obliged to 
avail myself all along, in order to carry into effect any of those 
measures which I have thought likely to add to our security 
from hostile attacks. 

* Sunday, April 29. — We thought ourselves justified in con- 
tinuing our military preparations to-day, though they wert 
somewhat interrupted by a tornado, accompanied with heavy 
rain, which continued to fall for a considerable time. This cir- 
cumstance, however, did not prevent the muster which I had 
meditated. When the people had assembled, I gave them a 
simple statement of the danger which threatened them, and 
pointed out the considerations which should unite them in 
repelling it. They all seemed determined to make " Liberty or 
Death" their motto. This was too favourable a moment to 
lose. I ordered them out under their respective captains, and 
fixed them to their stations, which were taken very readily, and 
without a murmur. Before they separated in order to go to 
the stations allotted to them, a step I thought necessar>' in 
order to prevent future misunderstanding, I appointed them to 
meet at four in the afternoon in church. They met accordingly, 
when Mr. Clarke preached a sermon to them suited to the 

*In the evening I had a letter from Mr. Richards, which 
relieved me from a considerable portion of my anxiety. It 
stated that by a letter from Mr. Powell of the Isles de Los he 
had learned that two French forty-fours and two Spanish mer- 
chantmen had arrived there in want of provisions and water, 
and without any purpose of injuring the settlements on the 
Coast ; that the Mutine brig was also arrived there fronn Goree, 
manned by whites, and it was her intention to send every black 
belonging to Sierra Leone or Bance Island, who might be taken. 


to Goree, till all the blacks taken by the Hornet should be 
delivered up/ 


May 5, 1798. 
My DEAR Selina, — When I wrote to you by the Eliza I had 
a hope that before this time I should have diminished the 
distance which separates us. God has seen it right to frustrate 
that hope, and it is mine to exercise submission. The arrival 
of Mr. Ludlam has doubtless served in some degree to clear the 
way for my return ; but the prospect is still too indistinct for 
me to say precisely when it will be practicable to enter upon it. 
Mr. Ludlam looks very young, and it is requisite he should be 
known before he can have the credit he deserves. This will 
take some time. Left alone, he would be without any adviser, 
who, possessing local knowledge, would be likely to reason on 
his principles. His constitution is as yet untried. In short, 
the probable event would be that before I had well put foot on 
English ground I should be forced again to quit it, in order to 
remedy, if possible, the confusion which would arise. After 
weighing all these considerations, I make no doubt you will 
think with me that the necessity of my continuing here during 
the rains, that is, till next October, is as absolute as the obliga- 
tions of duty can make it. 

I pray you, Selina, not to suffer the present state of our 
aflfairs to deject your spirits. The circumstance of the French 
squadron being near us, I really regard, as far as I am per- 
sonally concerned, as an affair of very trivial moment, not so 
big with personal danger as one of my slight fevers. On the 
subject of my return, I feel, I hope, some measure of resignation, 
noT shall I venture to indulge complaint, but you may depend on 
it that my stay will not be prolonged beyond the period to which 
of necessity it must. May God Almighty bless you, and keep 
you, and cause the light of His countenance to shine upon you ! 
I must tell you that some years ago I had a strong impres- 
sion that much of religion consisted in a contempt of money, 
and I had formed a secret purpose of never laying any by. 
Some such singularity is very frequent in one's outset in a 
religious course. I have known some to imagine that they were 
dead to the world because the decencies of dress were beneath 
their notice; others to make laughter a sin, because our Saviour 
was never known to laugh ; and others to derive much self- 
corn pla.cency from having drawn on them the stare of an 
irrdigi^^^ company by asking for themselves God's blessing on 
their txieat, in silence perhaps, but with a motion of the eyes to 



heaven, and a position of their hands, extremely unnecessary 
at any time, and certainly not likely to promote CJod's glory at 
such a time. Much of this proceeds from ignorance, and much 
from vanity. No one command of God is given to the exclu- 
sion of another. And if the Bible tells us * To do good and to 
communicate, forget not,' and again, ' Sell all thou hast, and give 
to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven/ it also 
says, * Occupy till I come,' * If any provide not for his own he 
denieth the faith.' Money, no doubt, is a valuable talent ; but it 
is chiefly valuable not simply on account of the portion of 
human distress which its bare distribution can alleviate, but on 
account of that influence it gives the possessor, and which one 
who is clothed with rags, however favoured of Heaven, in the 
nature of things cannot attain. There is a greater risk indeed 
of inclining to selfishness than to too profuse a charity. 

You will have heard what a dreadful conflagration took place 
last month in our little town. The extent of the mischief was 
very great. The piercing shrieks of some women soon waked 
me to it, and I lost no time in repairing to the spot to try to 
check the course of the flames, but their fury was so great that 
little could be done. I went round in the afternoon to visit all 
the sufferers. 

On one of the evenings on which Captain Ball called upon 
me, I was engaged with my little fry. I debated with myself 
for a few seconds whether I should continue the work of in- 
struction, and I resolved in the affirmative. Having welcomed 
my guest, I went on as usual, though not without some 
embarrassment. I must confess myself but too subject to the 
influence of a certain false shame, which makes me shrink from 
the imputation of a weak mind, which all those are apt to con- 
nect with religion who themselves are wholly indifferent to it. 
I got so far the better of it, however, at this time as to comment 
a little on the commandments as we proceeded, and on some on 
which I should not have had courage to have spoken directly 
to my naval friend, with a good deal of point. Although what 
I said was quite lowered down to the capacity of our little 
natives, yet Ball must have experienced a sensation as £f what 
was said was said to him, for he began in the course of the 
evening after our work was done to notice the many unpro- 
pitious circumstances which had attended him in his way 
through life. Both Clarke and I availed ourselves of this un- 
expected turn in the conversation to represent in as delicate a 
way as we could the advantages those had over others who 
were masters of themselves, and the inefiicacy of every admoni- 
tion to duty from one who lived in the neglect of duties equally 
plain. Ball shook his head, and observed that no one could 


manage seamen without swearing and violence. I instanced 
Gambier. He could have no objection to the instance, but 
he added, * As for myself, it would be vain to think of altering 
established habits. What so many years have confirmed is not 
likely to yield to a few efforts, which, while they disquieted, 
w^ould prove wholly unavailing. God is merciful, and will 
weigh against those innoxious deviations from His laws one's 
honesty and uprightness, one's generosity, benevolence, and 

Miss Campbell, whom I mentioned to you on a former occa- 
sion, opened her school a short time back. She showed some 
very striking marks of a vain mind, which I hoped, however, 
might be corrected, and only flowed from the inconsideration 
of youth. I had therefore some very serious conversation both 
with herself and her father, in which I plainly stated my reasons 
of hesitation. The young lady did not altogether relish my 
plain, but, I am sure, friendly expostulation, and though I was 
exceedingly careful in avoiding every expression whch might 
imply that I aimed at anything more than a pardonable want 
of acquaintance with the world, she observed quite in heroics 
* that innocence itself could not be safe here.' I had hinted, 
however, that my objections wfere conscientious ones, and my 
remarks were therefore entertained at least with seriousness. 
The young woman, I trust, possesses at bottom good sense and 
piety, though both are somewhat warped by a change of cir- 
cumstances which leads her to think it necessary to affect a 
style of dress and manners ill according with one educated in 
her humble sphere. There are besides proprieties of character 
to maintain, which scarce admit of being defined, and which 
peculiarly require to be attended to by those who have the task 
of forming the morals of others, in which Miss Campbell was 
not an adept ; but on this head, though I felt much, yet I had 
nothing to say. There would have been something strangely 
anomalous in a lecture from me on the proprieties ! 

A few days' reflection at length convinced Miss Campbell 
that I had spoken the language of truth and friendship ; and 
after several colloquies, it was at last agreed that she should 
undertake a school of females, under the express condition of 
following Mr. Clarke's suggestions and mine. She had by this 
time got rid of her monstrous misshapen dress, which had for 
some time set all the young women in the church agaping, and 
reverted to the use of plain and simple attire, and her lowly 
looks were, I hope, no fallacious indication of a humbled mind. 
Now that I have mentioned dress I really cannot resist the 
propension I feel to pay you a compliment on your very just 
taste in that article. I have always admired it, and been 


pleased with it, not because I lay particular weight on external 
appearance, but because I insensibly attach to it the idea of a 
well-ordered mind. I must say that you were the only person 
I met who could so follow the reigfning mode as to avoid 
singularity, and yet preserve the grace it was so much calcu- 
lated to outrage. 

* Hollefear/ ^ says my brother Aulay, 'does not like the 
thought of your leaving Africa ; and if you should come home 
to tJike a wife, he wishes you would take her back with you.' 
You probably know Hollefear by this time, and should you be 
at the Temple in July, you are likely to see him there. I shall 
make at present no comment on his opinion, which I doubt 
not proceeds, as all his opinions do, on some grounds at least 
meriting discussion. By the time I come home the point will 
have probably been fully debated, and I shall have only to listen 
to the result. For my own part I shall be ready enough to 
follow where duty may call me. But indeed I can at present 
see no ground for supposing that I have an exclusive call to 
Africa ; and circumstances must strangely alter before I entirely 
abandon all hope of living one day at home. — Believe me, ever 
yours truly and affectionately, Z. MacAULAY. 

* May 6. — Faul, whom I have mentioned before, came to tell 
me what he knew about the French commodore who had 
questioned him closely about this place. He was particularly 
inquisitive about our means of heating shot ; and the informa- 
tion given him on that head seemed to have more influence ia 
determining him, if possible, toward coming hither, than any- 
thing else that was told him. He also wished to know from 
Faul, in whom, being a German, he seemed to put some con- 
fidence, whether I was likely to permit him to take water at 
Sierra Leone without molestation. He seemed much inclined 
to send a flag of truce to know my mind, and was probably 
only diverted from it by his engagement with the PearL Faul 
informed me that the Pearl was at first taken for a Guineaman ; 
and on her being discovered to be a frigate, very great con- 
fusion ensued, most of the men being ashore. The PearFs 
shot damaged the frigate, and killed three of her people, and 
wounded four. One of the Spanish galleons received three shot 
betwixt wind and water, and in a few minutes there were three 
feet water in the hold. The captain of the galleon called out 
to strike the colours, but neither he nor any of his crew had the 

^ Mr. Hollefear, a frequent and welcome visitor at the Temple, was a Leicester- 
shire clergyman, much respected by his neighbours, but of somewhat eccentric viewsL 
He had a great idea of only using home-grown articles of consumption, and. even hi' 
clothes were supposed to be made from the wool of his own sheep. 


courage to venture on deck to do it. On board this vessel were 
fifteen thousand dollars in specie. The commodore said that 
had he had two more broadsides he too must have struck. 

* Taking the whole of Paul's information into consideration, 
I judged it of sufficient importance to transmit without delay 
to Commodore Cornwallis at Cape Coast. I accordingly ordered 
the Prosperity to be got ready for that purpose. 

' The Settlers were again at work to-day, but as everything 
which I deemed essential to our security had now been done, 
and as every hour was a matter of great importance to farmers 
engaged in putting in their crops, I called together the captains, 
and after expressing my satisfaction with their conduct and 
that of those under their command, and desiring them to 
accept my acknowledgments, gave directions for all to return 
to the pursuit of their private business. This notice seemed 
very agreeable to them. 

*The Hope being about to sail, I delivered the despatches 
to Captain Holford, with directions to sink them if pursued 
by an enemy. 

^ May 12. — We had a muster this afternoon of the Militia for 
the purpose of exercising the great guns. 

^Sunday, May 13. — I thought I had cause this morning to 
congratulate myself on our having been engaged as we were 
yesterday afternoon, for at daylight to-day I saw three sails in 
the offing on a line with the Isles de Los, but at a very con- 
siderable distance. Clarke being still ill, I was obliged to officiate 
to-day. I had just begun the service when my servant came to 
announce to me his having seen two more vessels, making a 
squadron of five sail. I was startled by the intelligence, but 
made shift to proceed without betraying emotion. After service 
I gave the alarm and beat to quarters, and the notice was 
obeyed with considerable alacrity, and I despatched a canoe 
to Bance Island with the news. 

' During the day I was a good deal disquieted, as I always 

am when many things press for decision, but before evening, 

cvGvy arrangement having been taken which appeared necessary, 

I recovered my composure, and even felt a considerable flow of 

spirits; and I was glad to observe that, notwithstanding our 

firnn persuasion that to-morrow we should have no bloodless 

battle to fight, there was an uncommon degree of cheerfulness 

diffused among us. At lying down I commended myself and 

all under my charge, as well as all who were dear to me, to 

I lis care who fills all space present throughout; and having 

enjoyed a very sound and refreshing sleep, I got up at two in 

the nnorning to watch the motions of the expected squadron 

witb a night-glass, and to prepare for the combat. 


^ May 14. — I was somewhat surprised, though certainly it was 
agreeably, to be able on the return of day to see nothing of the 
enemy. In the afternoon, however, I was not a little pleased 
to learn by a craft from the Isles de Los that they had quitted 
that place on the nth, bound to Europe. It must no doubt 
have been the French squadron which we saw yesterday. 

* Sunday y May 20. — Mr. Ludlam I hope is sincerely well dis- 
posed to religion. He is a man of an acute, discerning mind, 
and is fond of discussions. I find use now for all my logic, 
which' for these two years past has been rusting for want of 

* Sunday y May 27. — Mr. Clarke being still very poorly, I was 
obliged to officiate, a duty which I never fail to feel unpleasant 
on account of my having to stand up as the mouth of a con- 
gregation in their intercourse with the throne of grace. I have 
been in the habit of accounting public prayer a more solemn 
exercise than public instruction, and one which ought to be 
appropriated still more exclusively to the priesthood. Certainly 
not less attention is due to the ordering our conversation aright 
in addressing God than in addressing men, and on this ground 
chiefly I would disapprove of those completely extemporaneous 
eflTusions which one often hears in public, and in which every 
one present is compelled at least to appear to join. 

* I received a packet of letters left for me at Cape Coast 
Castle, which gave me the melancholy news of the Calypsos 
capture, and of the death of Messrs. Guest and Symonds. I 
felt poor Guest's loss very acutely. I had to feel too for the 
Colony, at the commencement of a rainy season, deprived of 
his professional skill and attention. 

*The Calypso was taken in the month of February by the 
same privateer which the Hornet sloop-of-war had pursued in 
vain. When taken, the captain, Guest, and the crew were taken 
on board the privateer, where their living was wretched and 
their accommodation also very bad. At last they were put 
into a boat and sent to Cape Coast Castle. On getting to Cape 
Coast they were allowed to stay in the Castle, but their situa- 
tion there must have been very uncomfortable, as I find Guest 
was obliged to make shift with half of Symonds's apartment, 
who at the time was ill of dysentery. As might be expected, 
Guest grew so ill that, contrary to his first plan which was 
to wait a conveyance to Sierra Leone, he went on board the 
schooner which Buckle commanded and which was to depart 
in two days for England. But before the two days had expired 
Guest breathed his last. Buckle speaks very feelingly of the 
whole affair, and states how eagerly Guest longed to have been 
but back at Freetown during his illness. Buckle writes me 


that he had my packets for you and Babington still in his 
custody, and that he should not fail, on getting to England, to 
see them properly forwarded. 

* Sunday, June 10. — Captain Ballard passed the greatest part 
of the day with us, and listened very attentively to our examina- 
tion of the native children at night. Ballard is a particular 
friend of Captain Bedford, who I found had been furnishing 
him with tracts. I made up large parcels both for him 
and Commodore Cornwallis, which they thankfully accepted, 
and promised to distribute after they had themselves read one 
of each kind, in order to ascertain their probable teildency. 
Not only the seamen, but their commanders may thus receive 
a word of seasonable exhortation. 

* May 30. — I must give you some account of the progress of 
our African Missions. 

* On the Bullom shore matters have not gone on prosperously, 
for without the least shadow of opposition from the natives, the 
Missionaries, Capp and Russell, quarrelled with each other. 
They even went so far upon one occasion as to make a native 
chief the umpire of their differences. Much good was not to 
be expected of such a Mission, and I therefore separated them. 
In a conversation I had with Capp a few days ago I found out 
that his sole reason for engaging at first in the Mission was an 
impression that he ought to go, a certainty that he would be 
uneasy if he did not go. I am not a little surprised that the 
Missionary Society should be satisfied with such a reason. He 
did not previously ascertain that it was his duty on any one 
Scripture ground ; he had not considered whether he had the 
qualifications and the temper requisite, and without which it 
never could be a duty ; but he felt an impulse 1 We hear of a 
Paul who required, with all the aid of supernatural gifts, three 
years' training for his work; but modem apostles deem such 
discipline as this a quenching of the spirit. Of the carnal spirit 
which possesses them I own it would be; at least it would 
serve to discover to others the spirit they were of. 

' I must confess myself one of those who see no sufficient 
ground for believing that the cast of men at present employed 
as Missionaries are calculated to produce important or exten- 
sive effects. When I see Missionaries formed under some such 
self-denying discipline as that of the Moravians, or from those 
classes of men who may be supposed to possess sober yet ele- 
vated views, humble yet enlarged minds, I shall think the set 
time at hand. It is not among mechanics we are to look for 
men of this last description. In a subordination to these, 
mechanics might indeed be useful, but otherwise the name and 
oflfice of Missionary only serves to unhinge their minds. And 


one who would scarce be chosen to instruct a parish school is 
sent forth as the apostle of Africa. Experience, perhaps dear 
bought, will convince the Missionary Societies of the absolute 
need of an efficient control. 

*/une 9. — Being somewhat disengaged I paid a visit to the 
mountains on the 7th, and had the satisfaction to find my farm 
flourishing. My stay, however, was considerably shortened by 
the appearance of two large sail in the farther verge of the 
horizon. I made haste down, and I made the signal for a 
general muster, which was obeyed, and guards were mounted 
on all the batteries. I continued up all night watching with a 
night-glass for the appearance of the ships, and keeping the 
men on duty on the alert. About two in the morning there 
was an unusual bustle down by the river-side, which appeared 
at length to have been caused by a boat being perceived rowing 
close inshore with muffled oars, as if playing the spy. Those 
on board at first refused any reply ; but a few muskets being 
pointed at them, they sung out very lustily, " We are British 
friends, let us land." They immediately were allowed to land, 
and I was happy in a few minutes after to shake hands with 
the master of the Pearl. He brought me a letter from Com- 
modore Cornwallis announcing his arrival with the Pearl in the 
hope of finding the French here, and that he had ordered the 
master to be put ashore in order to find me out in the woods, 
where he supposed I was with my people, and make known to 
me his plan of operations, in which he begged me to co-operate. 
The boat, after landing the master and taking a peep at the 
enemy's position, was to have gone back instantly to the ships. 
I despatched the master with a few lines, and having got my 
barge ready, set off about four in the morning to communicate 
with the commodore. I had to pull not less than eight leagues 
before I got on board the Sheernessy which was about double 
the distance I had expected. I found the two captains friendly 
in the extreme, but much chagrined at not having had an 
opportunity of further testifying their regard by delivering us 
from French marauders. 

* Scarce was this over when two native chiefs appeared from 
King Tirama, demanding of me in positive terms the delivery 
of about twenty fugitive slaves whom they alleged to be 
harboured in the Colony. The commodore, Captain Ballard, 
and the officers of both ships being to dine with me, I was 
obliged to plead for a delay before I could give an answer, 
and backing my entreaty with a few bottles of wine, I obtained 
my wish. 

'June 18. — The Sheerness sailed to-day for England, but just 
before the commodore weighed anchor I received intelligence 


which I communicated to him, of a large French frigate having 
been at Cape Mount about three weeks ago, having previously 
captured a good many prizes, slave-ships. 

^June 22. — A letter from King Tom came to say that he had 

just received news of war being talked of against this place, 

and that he would therefore advise us to be on our guard. I 

replied rather coldly that I was always on my guard, but I did 

not believe Tirama or his people cared so little for themselves 

as to trouble the Settlement. In truth the letter proceeded, I 

believe, from his own fears of an attack from King Tirama ; in 

which case it would be particularly advantageous to him to 

involve us in his quarrel. I gave him to understand that I 

knew how the matter stood ; that he was not to expect any 

active assistance from me ; but that either he or his people, 

fleeing from oppression, would be sure to find a safe asylum 

here. All these reports succeeding each other with such 

rapidity led me to a more than customary watchfulness ; and 

in such circumstances one whose thoughts are at all directed 

Godward will be made to learn what is meant by a life of faith. 

At night one goes to rest in that kind of uncertainty (for all 

attacks in this country are by night) which leads to a more 

hearty and spiritual resignation of oneself to God, than if no 

degree of danger existed. In the morning one feels in a more 

lively manner the renewed mercy of a spared life and continued 


About this time Mr. Robert Haldane, whose name was well 

knoivn in religious circles in Scotland, authorised a friend to 

request Macaulay to obtain and despatch to Edinburgh thirty 

or forty native boys and girls, with the view of their being 

educated there, to return later to Africa as Missionaries. Mr. 

Haldane offered to make himself responsible for the necessary 

funds being forthcoming. This letter was received by Macaulay 

during the summer of 1798; and in his reply, which reached 

Mr. Haldane the following October, he approved the proposal 

with certain modifications. He considered that the scheme 

deserved a trial, and might possibly present a solution of the 

difficulties caused by the continual illness and mortality among 

the European Missionaries. But he stated it as essential in 

his opinion that the children should be kept for some time 

under his own care and supervision, so that by personal 

acquaintance with their characters he should be qualified to 

select from among them those who were best fitted for their 

future destination. He also stipulated that they should remain 


at Sierra Leone until the time came for his own return, and 
make the voyage to England with him, as otherwise he could 
not be responsible for their welfare to their families. The 
children, who were already placed with Macaulay by their 
friends for education, belonged to the households of different 
Chiefs, and this circumstance he considered would contribute 
materially to the success of the scheme, as the interest of the 
Chiefs in each district would at once be enlisted in favour of 
Missionaries who*stood in such a close relation to them. 


June i6, 1798. 

My dear Selina, — Ballard, when he came up, put into my 
hands a very large parcel of letters and newspapers, which one 
of his lieutenants had got out of a vessel he had boarded on 
entering the river. 

Your letter is dated the 28th October 1797, and gives a most 
interesting account of the incidents which occurred during your 
visit to Mrs. Wilberforce at Bath. Your estimate of the char- 
acters of those of your party whom I know appears to be very 
just ; though I own in drawing a comparison between Thornton 
and Wilberforce, in my own mind, the former, whether justly 
or not I will not venture to say, has always carried away the 
palm. In point of talents, doubtless, there is a splendour about 
Wilberforce which quite eclipses the other ; but then the sound- 
ness of Thornton's judgment, and the extreme considerateness 
and painful scrutiny with which he is accustomed to view every 
subject that requires his decision, serves as a counterbalance. 
Wilberforce's benevolence may be more ardent, and the style ot 
his devotion more elevated and fervent ; but in the practice of 
self-denying duties, and in the habitual enforcement of that 
suggestion not to confer with flesh and blood, I must think 
Henry Thornton his superior. Wilberforce has stronger and 
more lively views of the beauties of holiness and of the Saviour's 
love ; but Thornton has a more uniform and abiding impression 
of his accountableness to God for every moment of his time, 
and for every word he utters. Wilberforce*s active love flies 
immediately to the relief of an object in distress, and gives 
almost instinctively. Thornton's consideration leads him to 
weigh the best mode of imparting relief so as to raise no false 
hopes, and to produce no future unhappiness, and to join, if 
possible, the interests of eternity to those of time. That both 
possess all the good qualities above alluded to in an eminent 


degree, when compared with other men, is certain ; but I was 
only viewing them in comparison with each other. 

Your account of your conference with Mr. Thornton is highly 
characteristic in its commencement, and the warmth of affec- 
tion towards me which he betrayed may seem somewhat out of 
character, yet I know it to have been only a relaxation of that 
restraint which he thinks it a duty habitually to cultivate with 
respect to the expression of his feelings. He wishes at no 
time to give praise unnecessarily, or without seeing some specific 
good end to be answered by it, knowing that in the main it is 
hurtful. He wishes at no time to utter a needless expression 
of regard, not knowing what expectations it may excite which 
he is unable to fulfil, and knowing that when an opportunity of 
doing a real service occurs, its worth will not be diminished by 
the want of previous promises. I do feel satisfaction arising 
from the consciousness of having in any degree the regard and 
favourable opinion of such men. But I feel at the same time 
no circumstance so humbling as the contrast which my own 
heart, and my life as to its moving principle in too many 
instances, forms, to what they are pleased to think of me. 
Thornton speaks of my industry ; while I feel sloth and pro- 
crastination besetting sins. He speaks of my integrity ; while 
every day and hour I feel vanity and other bad tempers warp- 
ing me to insincerity. He speaks of my necessary qualifica- 
tions ; while I know and God knows how miserably poor and 
defective I am, and how little I merit commendation, even for 
those parts of my conduct which may have the most splendid 
exterior. Alas ! it is not praise we want, it is pardon. 

The circumstance which chiefly excited in me a sigh on the 
thought of quitting Sierra Leone was the necessity of abandon- 
ing the native children, whom God, in mercy to them I would 
fain hope, had placed under my care, to the precarious chance 
of meeting one who would care for their spiritual interests. 
This did cause me many anxious moments. God has now 
made my way even in this respect plain. The same vessel 
which brought me the letter I am answering brought me one 
which announced the formation of a plan, and the institution 
of a sufficient fund, for the education of thirty or forty African 
boys and girls ; and gave me a commission to collect and bring 
home with me to that number. I am sure I ought to be ashamed 
of ever distrusting the love of God. This tie being loosed, I see 
nothing now to damp the happiness of my return, nor any 
obstacles to it, but the want of a convenient opportunity of 
transporting myself to your shores. 

Mrs. Thornton is certainly not proud, but she has ever been 
silent and reserved for a woman. Her understanding is strong; 


and the peculiar circumstances of her life having led her much 
to seek retirement and solitude, she is little attentive to those 
minutenesses in conduct which so irresistibly captivate one 
when, as in Mrs. Hannah More, they are the accompaniments 
of a cultivated understanding and a superior genius. Mrs 
Thornton is seen most to advantage in discussions which call 
forth the powers of her mind, and she then seldom fails to 
manifest great delicacy of discrimination and accuracy of think- 
ing. She is certainly lively and vivid in her conceptions, and 
possesses a degree of sensibility which may be called morbid. 
This would have rendered her a very unfit companion for Mr. 
Wilberforce, whose extreme vivacity and rapidity both of 
thought and action certainly require no small firmness of ner\c. 
Of Mrs. Wilberforce I can say nothing but that I am disposed 
to esteem and love her highly, not only as being worthy of pos- 
sessing Wilberforce's affections, but on account of the affecting 
proofs she gives of attachment to you, and the mutual confidence 
which subsists between you. 

You speak of my health. It is on the whole at present as 
good as I have a right to expect. I feel by no means the same 
capacity for bodily exertion as I did when I last arrived here, 
but I think I shall be likely to regain it now that my employ- 
ments are in themselves much less harassing and fatiguing than 
formerly, and that they are shared by Mr. Ludlam. I have 
begun to relinquish in his favour all the details of business, as 
well to relieve myself as to render him familiar with them. My 
employments are thus a good deal more to my taste. I spend 
several hours every day in reading, chiefly Greek and Latin. 
One advantage in any case I am sure to derive from it, and 
which justifies to my own mind the applying my time thus : 1 
mean the being able to study the original Scriptures, at least of 
the New Testament, for myself. Besides, as much of the useful 
knowledge to be derived from history in general is to be derived 
from Xenophon and Livy, as from modern historians. — Yours 
affectionately, Z. MACAU LAY. 

^ June 25. — My preparations for the sailing of the Santa 
Margarita were interrupted by the arrival of the Chiefs, this 
being the day I had appointed for hearing the claims preferred 
for the restitution of certain fugitive slaves. The first claim 
which came to be discussed was that of Pa Wamba for the 
family of which I have made frequent mention, consisting of 
the mother and three sons. Being myself clearly of opinion 
that we are bound to have no share in African injustice, you 
will not wonder that I should have formed a previous deter- 
mination on no account to deliver up these fugitives. The 


declaration of this principle I thought it prudent to defer till 
it became necessary, on the ground that it would be wrong to 
risk our peace, unless the obligation to do so were urgent and 
evident. I professed therefore my readiness to listen to the 
reasonings of both parties, and to do what in the issue appeared 
to be just. 

*Pa Wamba stated his case; and then one of the young 
men stood up to advocate the cause of himself, his mother and 
brothers. I then delivered my mind on the affair, which was 
that Pa Wamba had certainly no claim on the people in ques- 
tion. King Tom allowed I was right, and Pa Wamba ex- 
plicitly relinquished all right or title to the fugitives. The 
other claims were postponed to a future day. 

' Tuesday^ July 3. — To-day I was employed in cutting up 
some young cinnamon-trees into slips with a view of propagating 
that valuable plant. I made upwards of five hundred cuttings, 
which were distributed among all our farmers, and if they 
take root, I doubt not will prove a lasting benefit to the 

* Mr. Grieg the Missionary came hither to-day, for the purpose 
of recruiting his strength, which had been reduced in the Rio 
Pongo by several severe attacks of fever. The accounts he 
gave of the progress of the Mission were very comfortable. 
The most perfect harmony subsisted between him and his 
associate. The natives were kind beyond expectation, and 
even the Slave-traders seemed to vie with each other in doing 
them kindnesses. 

* Grieg brought me news still more interesting. While at the 

Isles de Los an American vessel brought an account that the 

importation of slaves into Savannah, the only port which had 

been left open for them, had been prohibited ; and thus that the 

American Slave Trade was in fact put an end to. At the same 

time arrived a vessel from Liverpool announcing that the British 

Parliament had abolished the Slave Trade between Goree and 

Cape Palmas, and that Admiral Nelson had destroyed a hundred 

and seventy-five gunboats. The rage of the Slave-traders at 

the Isles de Los, which was almost exclusively directed against 

this place, according to Grieg, was not to be described. They 

swore that in three months Sierra Leone should be in ashes, 

and that such a fate would be merited by our misrepresentations. 

Such expressions, however, may cause them some inconvenience 

if my friend Ball, or some captain equally well disposed, should 

visit us again, as I should certainly state, and that officially, the 

danger to us of the Slave-traders systematically exasperating 

the natives against the Colony, by attributing wholly to our 

interested efforts the abolition of the Slave Trade, and the 


extinction of the usual resources of supplying themselves with 
European goods. 

^ August ^, — On this and two or three preceding days various 
reports reached me of the ill intentions of King Ti ram a towards 
us on account of our refusal to deliver up the fugitive slaves who 
had taken refuge in the Colony. One of their plans, as reported 
to me, and if executed with boldness, might certainly have 
effected our complete destruction. The plan was that a number 
of native Chiefs, with only their usual attendants, should visit 
me on a pretence of settling some affair, however trivial ; that 
should they find me off my guard, they were then to stab me 
and those who were with me, seize the magazine and the arms, 
and make a signal previously agreed on, on which all the natives 
dispersed in the Colony were to repair to the hill and arm ; 
that the plunder and massacre were then to begin, but that the 
latter should cease when they had sufficiently thinned our 
numbers to render us no longer formidable. In this way the 
safety of their own and other native children in my house would 
be secured. There was something certainly very diabolical in 
this plan. As I was rumirtating a little on the subject, Tirama's 
deputy made his appearance, and announced the arrival of the 
King and his head men at Signor Domingo's town, and his 
intention of being with me without delay. Two things on this 
occasion served a little to increase ray suspicions of there being 
at least som^ ground for the reports of the day. One was that 
this journey of the King's and a numerous attendance had been 
made in the worst weather I had seen. The rain had been 
falling in torrents for some days, and had not yet intermitted. 
The other was, that the real pretence for this unexpected visit, 
whatever it might be, was quite concealed, and the reason 
alleged for it was my request, a request I had never made, to 
see the King as soon as possible. I denied in the strongest 
terms having sent for Tirama, affirming that I had no reason 
on account of which I could have a desire to see him ; and if I 
had, I should have chosen less unfavourable weather than the 
present for its adjustment. Banna, the King's deputy, boldly 
affirmed that I had sent for the King, and that he himself at his 
last visit had received a message from me to that purpose. 
This was as impudent an assertion as I had ever heard, and his 
persisting in it determined me the more strongly to be on my 
guard. Had he made his assertion good, the consequence 
would have been that I should have been obliged, on pain of an 
open breach, to have received without scruple, and to have 
entertained with profusion, Tirama and all his attendants ; and 
in such a case the laws of hospitality would not have admitted 
of the vigilance which the case seemed to require. But 


fortunately Banna spoke English so indifferently as to be 
generally under the necessity of using an interpreter always in 
matters of business. The interpreter employed on that occasion 
could recollect no such message, so that he was obliged, however 
reluctantly, to give up the point I now excused myself from 
receiving the King's visit till Monday. This seemed a very 
mortifying circumstance, and innumerable pretences were used 
with a view of changing my mind. But I was fixed. I had 
engagements for the day, Mr. Richards from Bance Island being 
with me ; this was Saturday, the day was already far gone ; on 
Sunday we received no visits and did no business. At last he 
left me, evidently chagrined, but carrying with him a present of 
wine to sweeten the disappointment. 

* Sunday y August 5. — While I was engaged in catechising my 
family in the evening a number of people arrived from the 
country, and made their appearance before me with faces full of 
alarm. I guessed their business, and resolved not to interrupt 
my work for it. When it was over, they all began with open 
mouth to relate their apprehensions of Tirama's hostile inten- 
tions, and solicited arms and ammunition to be distributed, 
without waiting even for the close of the Sabbath. I positively 
refused to take one step which might wear the appearance of 
hostility ; saying to them that we were safe as long as we sus- 
pected danger, but if any of them wanted arms and ammunition . 
the stores would be open in the morning, and they might buy. 
The Settlers, knowing the advantage they would derive in case 
of any serious dispute with their governors from being in 
possession of well-appointed arms, have never failed to make 
exertions on such occasions as the present for obtaining them. 
My policy, however, has as uniformly been to retain the arms 
and ammunition in my own power, until a moment of common 
danger no longer renders their distribution unsafe ; giving them 
a permission, however, of which few have availed themselves, a 
buy if they chose from the Company's stores. 

* August 6y 1798. — On the present occasion it would appear 
that their fears were serious, for this morning no less than 
twenty guns were bought at the store. This being reported to 
the King had the effect I expected ; and he declined coming 
to see me himself, but some of his head men waited on me with 
a letter from him wishing to know my reason for arming the 
Settlers on the news of his coming, and demanding the fugitive 
slaves. I made a suitable reply to this letter, in consequence 
of ivhich his Majesty changed his mind, and promised me a 
visit the next morning. 

* August 8. — Tirama came with a numerous attendance ; also 
King Tom and Signor Domingo. Being uncertain what share 


of credit was justly due to the reports I had heard of their 
desigpis, I thought it right to take such measures of precaution 
as would necessarily render them abortive. After a deal of 
mere compliments had passed, I proceeded to discuss the 
charges in the letter. I justified the measure of arming the 
Settlers, even if I had had recourse to it, on the ground of my 
uncertainty as to the friendliness of the intentions of my 
Timmaney neighbours. This insinuation naturally produced 
the question I wished, namely, what cause I had to entertain 
the slightest doubt of the amiable intentions of those around 
me ? To this I gave a more explicit answer than they expected 
or wished. I called on King Tom to say whether he had not 
assured me that Tirama's intentions were hostile to us. I also 
appealed to Signor Domingo whether he had not told me the 
same of King Tom, and that the latter's purpose of hurting us 
had been defeated by Tirama's good-will. To this they were 
forced reluctantly to assent. 

* I then proceeded to answer the demand for the fugitive 
slaves. I disclaimed any wish of enticing or of retaining fugi- 
tives, and this they all gave me credit for ; but I positively 
refused to interfere actively in the apprehension, with the view 
of reducing them to their former slavery, of individuals whose 
only crime was that they had escaped from slavery. I pressed 
strongly for a reply, requesting them either to answer what I 
had said, or to allow that I had reason on my side ; but each 
succeeding request served only to multiply evasions. At 
length we parted, heartily tired of each other, without bringing 
any one point for which we had met to a conclusion. 

^August 27. — I had been rather surprised at finding the 
belief in witchcraft and other Satanic influences to prevail 
among the religious part of our Europeans. I thought it a 
point of too much moment to pass unnoticed, considering the 
deplorable efTects of superstitious notions around us. I began 
with exactly ascertaining the state of opinions among us on 
this point. Ludlam and myself were of one mind, namely, that 
there was room to doubt whether supernatural knowledge or 
supernatural powers were ever conveyed by the devil, allowing 
the fullest weight to the mentions made of witchcraft in the 
Bible ; and that there were the highest moral probabilities that 
no such knowledge was now conveyed by him. You will 
observe that our definition of witchcraft was " knowledge or 
power which could not be attained but by supernatural means 
communicated by the devil." Mr. Clarke, Mr. Grieg the 
Missionary, and Mr. Wilson were of a contrary opinion, the 
latter particularly, who alleged facts of which he had been an 
eye-witness in support of it. Mr. Brunton, another Missionary, 


a man of much thought and sound judgment, seemed rather 
to incline to us, though he hesitated in going our length. 
The rest had thought little on the subject. The discussion 
continued for some days ; and though we did not succeed in 
proving that witchcraft had never existed, which indeed we did 
not insist very much upon, yet we fully succeeded in doing 
away the notion that in the trials and pretended charms of the 
natives there was anything more than trick, sleight of hand, 
and the powerful spell of superstitious fears. Even Wilson 
was convinced he had been too credulous. I deemed this a 
very important victory, particularly as it was gained without 
the least acrimony, and was yielded apparently from real 

* Brunton, whom I have once or twice mentioned, has become 
a highly interesting character ; his mind is well exercised, he is 
acute, and at the same time temperate. He possesses a cool 
head, and a warm heart, great modesty and great firmness. He 
is a scholar, has read much and thought more. He is married, 
and has left a wife, an amiable woman, I understand, and three 
children in Scotland, that he might preach the gospel in 
Africa. The few months his health allowed him to stay 
among the Susees, he was successful in gaining the good-will 
and confidence of the natives. Since his return hither he has 
not enjoyed three days of uninterrupted health ; and yet his 
cheerfulness has never forsook him, nor has he uttered a 
desponding expression. When able to mount the hill, he forms 
one of our party ; and his candour and moderation, joined to 
his other valuable qualities, render him particularly useful in 
the many discussions we fall into. In the religious opinions of 
all of us there are shades of difference ; but in our opinions of 
what is essential in religion, the affections, dispositions, tem- 
pers, and practice which become the Christian, we are all pretty 
well agreed. 

* September 14. — One of our craft arrived from the Rio Pongo 
to-day, bringing, to the general alarm of the Settlement, two of 
her crew, natives, ill of the smallpox. They had already been 
carried to King Tom's town before I was aware of the circum- 
stance, but I lost no time in sending a formal notification to 
him of the danger of their remaining there, and a strong request 
that he would resign them to my disposal. He very thankfully 
complied ; and they were immediately removed by water to 
the house on Thomson Bay farm, which stands near half a mile 
removed from any other dwelling. A few more afterwards 
arrived in the same state, and were disposed of the same way. 
They aJl recovered but one; and the infection spread no 
farther. I was very much inclined to inoculate all the native 



children who were with me ; but our only medical man, Mr. 
Lowes, had never before -seen a smallpox patient, and was 
therefore very unfit to undertake such an experiment. I 
visited the patients frequently, and supplied them with every- 
thing needful. King Tom and almost all the natives expressed 
much satisfaction with what we had done, for Rieir dread of 
this disease is strong and general. 

^Sunday, October 21. — Mr. Clarke's health has been declining 
some time. The freedom of my remonstrances on his over- 
exertions hurt him a good deal. On October the 7th he 
administered the Sacrament and preached for the last time 
The next day he was very ill ; and his maladies seem to set all 
Lowes's skill at defiance. 

'Just as I had finished dinner and was about returning to 
church, the arrival of my brother and Mr. Gray was announced. 
I had only time to welcome them, and to order them some 
refreshment, when the bell summoned me away. After service 
I had leisure to hear their adventures, and to read the few 
letters they brought me. 

^October 26. — My brother and I went on board the Dawes on 
the 24th in the view of visiting Cape Mesurado, and making 
some purchases there which might be beneficial to the Colony. 
I had it likewise in view to have a few days' uninterrupted talk 
with him about Rothley Temple and Cowslip Green, which 
proved a very rich gratification. We got to the Turtle Islands, 
and at daylight to-day saw a ship which proved to be the 
Diana^ Captain Hume, bound to the West Indies with slaves. 
I wrote to you by her. Captain Hume had been very kind to 
my brother and Mr. Gray in their late desolate situation, and 
I gave him in token of acknowledgment a thirty gallon cask 
of wine. There being no wind we dined on board the Diana, 
Captain Hume, by way of vindicating his humanity, telling us 
stories the while of what he had witnessed in the Slave Trade. 
" One voyage," said he," a very fine woman was left with me by 
her husband as a pledge for some goods he had taken. Some 
one intimating to her that her husband did not mean to redeem 
her, * When I certainly know that to be the case I shall die,' 
said she. Accordingly, when by the vessel's going from the 
coast she was assured that the suspicion was but too well 
founded, she shut her eyes and expired almost instantly. I had 
thirty-three more pawns on board that voyage whom I was 
obliged to carry off, as their relations did not choose to redeem 
them, every one of whom went off one after another without a 
complaint or groan or any symptom of illness, but a settled 
gloom in their countenances and a loathing of food. When I 
see any now falling into the same way, out of humanity to them 


I flog them, and it is a remedy which I have never known 
to fail." 

* October 29. — To-day we came to an anchor off" the mouth of 
the river Gallinas, near where John Newton had formerly had 
his factory, a very pleasant river, full of small islands not 
more than a hundred yards in diameter. The traders, of whom 
there are four or five, have each his own island, where he lives 
quite separate from the other traders and from the natives. 

* November 3. — While at Cape Mesurado, I went over one day 
to a town about six miles off, where a King Peter lived. He 
knew my brother very well. The Chiefs were all assembled in 
a very neat Palaver house in their best clothes, seated on clean 
mats, except King Peter, who was elevated on a chair, and had 
altogether a very majestic air. A jar of wine I carried with me 
gave me a right to make a long speech respecting the Sierra 
Leone Company, with which King Peter was so pleased that he 
agreed to send a son of his with me for education. In my way 
back I met with a very large alligator, which I was in the act 
of shooting, when stopped by my guide, who told me that was 
King Peter's Devil. 

* Novetfiber 10. — We reached the Turtle Islands on the 6th, 

where we were very successful in catching fish during a calm. 

The next evening we got home, when I found Clarke so ill as to 

afTord little room to expect any amendment. He had moved 

out to Mr. Gray's villa, where I visited him as soon as I could. 

He was very low-spirited, and seemed very uneasy in the 

prospect of his dissolution. I endeavoured to comfort him and 

to raise his spirits, and proposed to him taking a passage to the 

West Indies, and thence to England, as the only resource now 

left, and as such he eagerly embraced it. I immediately 

arranged to send him along with my brother to Cape Mesurado, 

where a vessel was about to sail for Barbados. 

* JVovember 24. — Two days ago I set sail in the Prosperity on 
business. To-day I visited in the barge Fantimanee's town, 
where Mr. Grieg the Missionary resides, and by setting off from 
Freeport at two in the morning I got there about eight. Mr. 
Grieg is quite reconciled to his present state of seclusion. The 
people seem to like him, and to listen to him, for he talks the 
lang^uage very intelligibly. After arranging several matters with 
Grieg respecting his Mission, I left about noon, and reached a 
trader's of the name of Pendleton in time to fulfil an engage- 
ment to dine with him. The benefit I should have derived from 
this refreshment was quite lost from perceiving, in the number 
of attendant wives, a girl on whose education I myself had 
bestovred much pains, and who had promised better things. I 
attacked Pendleton, as soon as I had a fit opportunity, on his 


way of life. He pretended to acknowledge the truth and 
propriety of all I said to him, but added, "As for Jane, she is 
better with me than with most, for I give her leave to read her 
Bible every day." I was more successful in making an impres- 
sion on poor Jane, with whom I contrived to have a few minutes' 
talk. She shed tears very abundantly, expressed her dislike of 
her situation, into which she had been forced by her mistress, 
and sighed for Sierra Leone again. 

* On the other side of the river where a trader named Holman 
lived, I found two girls who had also been with me at Sierra 
Leone, and whom I was highly pleased to find on the whole 
improving. Holman, who is their stepfather, paid them, I found, 
great attention, and instructed them daily in reading. I was 
very agreeably surprised to see them both come in in the 
evening, and, kneeling down, say the prayer they had been 
accustomed to use at Sierra Leone, after which Holman cate- 
chised them, receiving very distinct answers, and gave them 
both a blessing. There appeared something very hopeful in 
all this ; and yet Holman is a Slave-trader and dissolute in his 
manners. Nor was what I saw done merely on account of my 
being present, but I found it was the uniform practice. I staid 
at Holman's till past midnight, when, the tide answering, I set 
off for Freeport, and arrived there before daylight. 

* November 26. — I set off for the Rio Nunez, visiting in my 
way a branch of the Rio Pongo where I had never yet been, 
and paying my respects to the traders who live there. At one 
of these factories I saw the very man who had been employed by 
Ormond, of famous memory, to drown his unsaleable slaves; and 
thus obtained the most unquestionable proof, from a quarter not 
likely to be partial to us, of the truth of that part of our report 
which had been most strenuously disputed by Slave-traders. 

"* November 27, — Cooper accompanied me to the Rio Nunez. 
Just as we had cleared the Rio Pongo bar and had got out into 
the open sea, we descried three sail in the offing, but fortunately 
were not near enough to be spoken to by them. We afterwards 
found them to be a squadron of French privateers cruising 
under Renaud, which visited the Isles de Los and captured 
there two Danish Guineamen. 

^ December T. — Just as we had got over the bar, we met the Daives 
coming in from Sierra Leone. She had had a narrow escape 
from the French, having been within half a gunshot of them, 
and escaping by dint of superior sailing into one of the adjacent 
rivers, where she lay till news were brought of the coast being 
clear. My letters acquainted me with my brother having gone 
off in the ship Maria for the West Indies, but that poor Clarke, 
to whom the captain would on no consideration give a passagne. 


had returned to Freetown in a state of great weakness and 
mental derangement, and in a few days had breathed his last. 
The people, who while he lived had neglected and vilified him, 
were very forward in showing their respect for his memory ; 
and the Methodists particularly set apart a day for pronouncing 
his eulogy, and mourning his loss. In their orations they ex- 
tolled him to the very skies, saying they had now lost their 
father, their best friend. What a strange jumble of incon- 
sistencies is man ! 

* My fears of the French being at an end I returned to Free- 
port, to settle some affairs which my hurry had made me 

^December 8. — Having settled my business at the factory and 
taken my leave of the chief, to whom we are indebted for the 
quiet and security in which Cooper lives among so many inimical 
traders, I again directed my course homeward, being the more 
anxious to shorten my absence as I felt symptoms of approaching 

*^ December 10. — I called at the Isles de Los, when Mr. Powell 
informed me that Renaud knew of my being out, and expressed 
a strong desire to see me, not to plunder me, but to convince 
me, as he said, of his remembrance of our ancient friendship and 
mutual good offices. I, however, was quite satisfied to want this 
additional proof of his regard. 

* I had, as I feared, a smart attack of fever, which incommoded 
me the more, on account of a heavy rain which fell during the 
night, and which penetrated my bed and bedding, so that I could 
not enjoy the rest which at such a time is so much wanted. 

* December 11. — Freetown being in sight in the morning I 
got into the barge, and was soon pulled ashore. Considering 
the danger to health from travelling in this country, and the 
inconveniences and evils of many kinds which are likely lo 
result from the absence of the head of a family, my late 
excursions seem to require some apology. It was an object 
to see with my own eyes the place which I might recommend 
{or the establishment desired ; besides all which, I was very 
desirous of leaving my coadjutors as much as I could to them- 
selves while I was yet near them, and at hand to help them. 

* In going to the northward, besides those motives which were 
common to both excursions, I had a further view of examining 
into the state of Freeport Factory; of personally recommending 
Grieg the Missionary to the friendship and protection of Fanti- 
manee and the neighbouring chiefs ; of preparing the minds of 
the chiefs for the expected abolition ; of doing away the un- 
favourable impressions which, from the present scarcity of 
European goods, the Slave-traders tried to give them of us as 


the cause of that scarcity ; of marking the effect which the 
expectation of the abolition produced on the minds of the 
traders themselves. I further wished to induce the native 
chiefs to a willingness to send their own children to Freetown, 
or to England, for education as they grew up. In all these 
objects I pretty well succeeded. 

* Sunday^ December^ 23. — Mr. Brunton.whom I have prevailed 
on to officiate as Chaplain, preached to-day. There came letters 
from Mr. Garvin to several of the Methodist preachers. They 
were dated from Virginia, where he endeavours to procure a 
livelihood by teaching a school. He strongly exhorted those 
to whom he wrote to value the very superior blessings they enjoy 
at Sierra Leone to what any blacks in America have, which 
marks in him an improved spirit. 

^January 8, 1799. — A vessel arrived from Tobago by which I 
learned the death of Commodore Cornwallis on his way hence 
to the West Indies. How vain are any schemes of happiness 
which man can form ! He was to have been married on getting 
to England. 

* February 4. — For some months past we had been kept on the 
alert by frequent reports of the designs of the natives against 
the Settlement. The bare possibility of danger arising from 
these rumours rendered the same precautions necessary which 
a time of real and known danger would have required. No 
doubt existed as to the point to which their attack, if made, 
would be directed, namely, Thornton Hill. A strict guard was 
therefore kept there, and I myself had placed within my reach 
as I lay in bed, arms, from which I could have fired upwards 
of a hundred and fifty buckshot in half a minute. Under my 
window I had a carriage gun ready primed, wherewith to make 
ap alarm signal, and a light burning constantly in my room 
with a match beside it. I took all these precautions, more 
because I thought it my duty to do so, than because I enter- 
tained any serious fears of a hostile visit. On the contrary, 1 
laboured to discourage any such disquieting reports, and to 
persuade the Settlers to a disbelief of them. At length it was 
confidently told us that all the other causes of discontent which 
the natives had against us had been blown into a flame by the 
news of the expected abolition, and the absolute dearth of 
European goods both at the Settlement and everywhere else 
on the coast, which Slave-traders took pains to convince them 
were owing to us ; and that all the Chiefs had combined their 
strength for our extirpation. I saw no greater reason for 
believing this report than any of the former; and to satisfy 
my own mind, as well as to cultivate a good understanding 
with those Chiefs, and to cure the fears of the Settlers, I 


resolved on paying them a visit. I found them wherever I 
went extremely friendly, and dreaming of nothing less than 
of war. I laboured to confirm them in their peaceful and 
friendly intentions ; and I hope did not labour in vain. This 
excursion occupied the whole week. I spent a little time with 
Tilley 1 at Bance Island both in going and returning. He pre- 
tends to have no fear that the partial abolition will take place. 
He cannot speak of the measure with patience, and lays the 
whole blame of the Bill to my account, which I told him 
greatly honoured me; and labours so to represent it, saying 
my reports and unfair statements have been the means. I 
called for proof. He mentioned the remarks respecting the 
Mandingo country in the first report to be altogether the reverse 
of fact, to which Richards, who had lived there three years, 
assented. But they were not a little surprised when I proved 
to them that Richards himself had been my author. However, 
I expressed my readiness to alter anything which better 
information might show to be wrong. I urged him strongly 
to point out any other inaccuracies in my report, but he replied 
that he did not recollect that there were any others; than 
which, considering all things, a stronger testimony could not be 
given of its authenticity. 

* I found them all a good deal hurt at the mention in the last 
report, which I have not yet seen, of Captain Walker's having 
murdered a seaman at Bance Island ; and they insinuated that 
the relation was a breach of private confidence. " What ! " I 
replied, "the disclosure of murder ! " They were silent. 

* Sunday y February 10. — The Ellis, Captain Soutar, arrived 
from Liverpool, bringing a few newspapers, but no letters. I 
found from Captain Soutar that my letter to Governor Rickets, 
about the free French blacks he had on board, was effectual for 
preventing their being sold, as was Soutar's intention. They 
were all sent to the Admiral at Martinique.' 

Seeing no prospect whatever of a direct passage to England, 
Macaulay had just come to the resolution of going home by the 
West Indies, when, on the very day that he was about to make 
the necessary arrangements, a sloop-of-war, the Fairy, with two 
other vessels, came to an anchor at the Settlement. With the 
captain of one of these, the brig Mary, he agreed for the freight 
of the ship to London on the Company's account, and for his 
own and the native children's passage. On the 4th of April 1799 
he set sail from Sierra Leone under the convoy of the Fairy, 
and reached Plymouth after a passage of forty-eight days, 

^ Mr. Tilley had arrived from England on the 26th of January. 




The session of 1799 was as usual a very busy one for the 
supporters of Abolition. They had, after long and careful 
consultation, concocted a measure for confining the Slave Trade 
within certain limits on the coast of Africa ; and in the month 
of March Henry Thornton brought it forward in the House of 
Commons. The Bill survived the difficulties caused by re- 
luctant friends and determined adversaries, and on the 2nd of 
May passed successfully through the Lower House ; but only 
to meet with severe opposition in the House of Lords, where 
the struggle over it was prolonged till the 5th of July, when it 
was defeated on the second reading. During this period Mr. 
Wilberforce and his friends watched daily over the interests of 
the Bill ; selecting with great care the witnesses who were to be 
examined at the bar of the House, and consulting incessantly 
with the counsel whom they employed. 

One of these was Mr. James Stephen, whose name has a 
familiar sound to all who are acquainted with the history of the 
hundred years which have elapsed since 1799. His descendants, 
several of whom have borne his own baptismal name, have dis- 
tinguished themselves by singular gifts and powers of mind in 
many varied walks of life ; in literature, at the bar, in colonial 
politics, and in India. Mr. Stephen himself was a brilliant and 
versatile man, full of enthusiasm and energy. He studied law, 
and was called to the bar in England ; after which he went out 
to the West Indies, where he had relations residing in St 
Christopher, who were able to promise him a good opening for 
practice. The vessel in which he sailed touched at Barbados ; 
and some instances of brutality shown to slaves, of which he 
was an accidental witness while on shore there, shocked him to 
such a degree that he made a solemn vow never to have any- 
thing to do with slavery, and kept his vow in spite of ever>' 


temptation to the contrary and the advantages which offered 
themselves to him afterwards. 

In the winter of 1788 he visited England, and made acquaint- 
ance with Mr. Wilberforce, who quickly perceived the capacity 
of his new friend, and endeavoured to enlist him in the band of 
allies. But although Stephen's generous sympathies were all 
against the continuance of the misery inflicted by the Slave 
Trade, he had a wife and a family of young children dependent 
upon his exertions ; and his sense of duty to them was suffi- 
ciently strong to restrain him from a public advocacy of Aboli- 
tion while still practising at the West Indian bar, where already 
the sacrifices he had made to his sentiments had entailed upon 
him very considerable losses. 

But his position at St. Christopher had practically become 

untenable ; and in 1794 he severed his connection with the West 

Indian bar, and returned to England, where he began to appear 

at the Prize Appeal Court of the Privy Council, and where his 

talents secured him, before long, the leading business. He 

now openly identified himself with the cause of Abolition. 

His ardour and knowledge of the subject made his aid to it 

quite invaluable, and it is amusing to find Mr. Wilberforce 

writing meekly in his diary in 1798: * Stephen frankly and kindly 

reproving me for not pleading the cause of the slaves watchfully 

enough, and guarding it in the case of Trinidad, and Spain's 

late proposals. I doubt. Pitt promises repeal of the proclama- 

tion for trade in Spanish colonies.' 

Mr. Wilberforce's warm affection for Pitt rendered him sensi- 

tiv^ on the score of attacks upon the great minister. His 

feelings were shared in a large measure by Henry Thornton, 

wha ivas a personal friend of Pitt's, and were at any rate 

religiously respected by the rest of the band ; but Mr. Stephen, 

coming fresh into the contest, had no misgivings to impede his 

utterance. When, notwithstanding an earnest appeal from him, 

couched in terms which reflected unreservedly on Pitt's apparent 

assent to a plan for the forcible removal of Creole slaves from 

their homes in the older islands in order to undertake the 

unhealthy labour of clearing new lands which had been vacated 

by the removal of the Carib tribes after the insurrection in 

St. Vincent and the conquest of Trinidad, Mr. Wilberforce still 

lesitated about proceeding to make a public attack upon the 


minister, his answer called forth a really awful denunciation 
from Mr. Stephen. 

' I still clearly think,* he wrote, * that you have been impro- 
perly silent ; and that when you see the Government loading 
the bloody altars of commerce, the idol of this Carthage, with 
an increase of human victims, and building new altars for the 
same execrable purpose while the sword of Almighty vengeance 
seems uplifted over us for that very offence, you are bound by 
the situation wherein you have placed yourself to cry aloud 
against it You are even the rather bound to do so because 
those high-priests of Moloch, Lord Liverpool and Mr. Dundas, 
are your political, and Mr. Pitt also your private friends.* 

Considering that Mr. Wilberforce had already succeeded by 
earnest remonstrances with Pitt in obtaining the rescinding of 
the objectionable proclamation, his answer to this passionate 
letter may be termed angelic. It is too long to quote, but the 
gentleness and humility which mark it go far to explain the 
tenderness of affection with which even the failings of Wilber- 
force were regarded by those around him. Mr. Stephen^s 
vehement zeal, though directed against himself, seemed to him 
only matter for admiration ; and the tie between the two men, 
so dissimilar and yet so closely in sympathy, was further 
cemented when in the year 1800 Mr. Stephen, who had become 
a widower, married Mr. Wilberforce's only sister, Mrs. Clarke, 
the widow of Dr. Clarke, vicar of Trinity Church, Hull. 

In the midst of the excitement among his friends about the 
Slave Limitation Bill, Macaulay arrived at Portsmouth; and 
leaving his precious cargo of young Africans to go round by 
sea, landed there himself, and hurried direct to London in order 
to make the necessary arrangements for their reception. When 
their comfort should have been secured he hoped to be at 
liberty to visit his betrothed, in whose company he had only 
spent two days since their engagement took place in January 
1796, and to seeing whom he was naturally looking forward 
with eager anticipation. His health too had broken down 
entirely for the time, his strong nerves had been shattered by 
the strain of unceasing work in a bad climate, and he longed 
with feverish anxiety for a period of entire rest and relaxation. 

But all through his life Macaulay's fate was seldom pro- 
pitious to the indulgence of his personal wishes, and his surprise 


and mortification were extreme when, upon his arrival from 

Portsmouth at Battersea Rise on Thursday the 23rd of May, 

he was immediately informed by Mr. Wilberforce and Henry 

Thornton that his presence in London would be for some time 

to come absolutely indispensable, and that they had undertaken 

for him that he should appear at the bar of the House of Lords 

to give evidence on the following Tuesday. Macaulay's 

habitual patience seems to have failed him upon this occasion, 

for his friends had the unwonted task of bringing argument to 

bear upon him to induce him to fulfil his duty, and they were 

compelled to reiterate their assurances that, upon his evidence, 

the fate of the Bill would probably depend. They told him 

that Lord Grenville, who was making every exertion in his 

power to support it, had already mentioned in the House of 

Lords that Mr. Macaulay would appear on the 28th of May ; 

and they reminded him that the time was already too short for 

the necessary preparation. Mr. Wilberforce and Mr. Thornton 

had done all that could be done to make the business easier. 

Upon receiving intelligence of the arrival of the Fairy with her 

convoy, they had engaged the counsel whom they employed to 

be in readiness to receive Macaulay's instructions and brief, 

and for this it was imperative that he should go to town early 

the next morning. The interval that remained before his 

examination must necessarily be spent in hard work, so as to 

employ to the best advantage the abundant materials which his 

intimate knowledge of the subject would furnish. 

The conversation was cut short by Macaulay's increasing 
indisposition. A sharp attack of African fever came on, and 
his weakness was so great that he was obliged to retire at once 
to his bed, quite unequal to the exertion of talking or holding a 
pen, and the next morning he had the greatest difficulty in 
keeping the appointment which had been arranged. Under 
these circumstances it is not surprising that the letter which he 
sent the next day to Miss Mills should be more querulous in 
its tone than any other which has come down from him ; and 
from some expressions which he employs in it, and in one or 
two letters which immediately follow, it is clear that he felt con- 
siderable uneasiness as to the effect upon her mind which the 
delay of his visit would have. It could scarcely be expected 
that she would take the same view of public duty which the 


small band of devoted men did of whose number Macaulay 
formed one, and it would have been natural that she should 
consider her own claims upon his time paramount at such a 
moment. He ends his first letter to her rather pathetically, by 
saying that his mind is somewhat off its hinge, and that he will 
not therefore say more at that time from the coffee-house where 
he had snatched a few minutes, in the midst of his harassing 
business, to step in to write to her. 

As might have been expected, on the Saturday Macaulay 
was entirely prostrated by fever. At Battersea Rise he was 
surrounded with every attention and comfort that care and 
affection could bestow, but his mind was ill at ease. He writes 
to Miss Mills : * Do not, I pray you, think unkindly of me, but 
consider that in what I have done, I have had, next to that of 
God, your approbation in view. I have acted as I believe you 
would have advised me to act had you had an opportunity of 
giving me your advice ; and though the sacrifice I have made 
to duty may seem trivial in the statement, yet I am sure, if it 
were to be estimated by the pain it has occasioned to me, it 
would possess no mean magnitude.' 

Mr. Thornton was much concerned about the situation, and 
wrote most kindly to Miss Mills, pressing her to come and stay 
at Battersea Rise. But Mrs. Thornton was ill and confined to 
her room ; and Miss Mills, whose disposition was retiring and 
reserved almost to a fault, shrank from coming alone for a first 
visit to the busy and hospitable house where she was still an 
entire stranger to the host and hostess, and declined the invi- 
tation. She wrote, however, very kindly and affectionately to 
Macaulay, and thus relieved his mind of much. of the anxiety 
which was weighing upon it ; so that he felt now able to devote 
his thoughts to the serious work before him. On Tuesday the 
28th of May, he was summoned to the bar of the House of 
Lords to be sworn. 


Battersea Rise^June i, I799» 

My dear Selina, — Yesterday I was obliged against my 

will to omit writing. I thought my examination might have 

come on, and there was much still to prepare. I purposed 

indeed to have written to you from Mr. WilberforceV house in 


town,i but on getting there I found the House of Lords already 
assembled, and our attendance of course requisite. The whole 
evening was consumed in examining our adversaries* witnesses, 
who were very ably cross-examined by Lord Grenville. Their 
evidence was very paltry, and indicated strongly a determina- 
tion of making everything they said, if possible, bend to their 

When I first appeared before their Lordships, the Duke of 
Clarence was pleased to distinguish me by several significant 
nods. Babington stood near him for some time, and found him 
extremely warm against the Bill. It is shocking that so young 
a man, under no bias of interest, should be so earnest for the 
continuance of the Slave Trade, and especially now its horrors 
are confessed by all. The public attention seems much 
awakened by the present question, so that there cannot be a 
more favourable time for making the impression one wishes on 
the minds of the Lords and of the nation in general. 

This day and Monday will be wholly employed by me in 
further instructions to our counsel. Our chief friends in the 
House are the Chancellor, Lords Grenville, Holland, Spencer, 
Carlisle, Auckland, and the Bishops of London and Rochester. 
Our chief enemies are the Duke of Clarence and the other 
royal Dukes, Lords Thurlow, Westmoreland, and Kinnoul. 

I breakfasted this morning in Mrs. Thornton's room, and had 
the pleasure of seeing her much better than when I last visited 
her chamber. Little Marianne is a delightful creature, and 
prattles charmingly. 

On Wednesday my black children got to Clapham in good 
health, and excited no small admiration among our friends, who 
account them a highly favourable specimen of African youth. 
Mrs. More, who is still an inmate of Battersea Rise, began to 
catechise one of them a little, and was much pleased with his 
ready answers, though I find on an examination which I insti- 
tuted this morning that they have rather lost ground during our 
separation. They live about a mile hence in the village of 
Clapham. I have been to the Smallpox Hospital ^ to arrange 
for their all being sent thither for inoculation. 

AVhat abundant cause have we to bless that God by whose 
aid "we still live, I trust, to praise Him ; whose healing touch 
hath raised our heads from the bed of sickness ; whose guiding 
hand hath made a path for us through the waters ; and whose 
protecting care hath delivered us from the hands of our enemies, 
proving better to us than all our vain and faithless fears would 

1 * Dawes and Macaulay dined with me. Then House of Lords, Slave Limitation 
5 i 1 1- ' Wilberforce*s Diary, May 31,1 799. 
'^ At St. Pancras. 


permit us to expect. We were chased in the latitude of thirty 
degrees for thirty-two hours, the privateer for a great part of 
that time having been within three miles of us. I expected to 
be taken, in which case there was cause to fear all my children 
would have been carried to South America, and sold. This 
would have been a trying dispensation indeed, from which God 
in mercy saved me. I had resolved on accompanying them, if 
it were to the farthest corner of the earth, provided no en- 
treaty or remonstrance could prevent our separation. In this 
way I should either have a chance of recovering them by repre- 
sentations to French or Spanish Governors abroad ; or, knowing 
their exact place, by applications to their courts at home. It 
was a time to put them in mind of Joseph's story, which I failed 
not to do. 

I dined at Wilberforce's yesterday, but have as yet had 
little opportunity of seeing much of his lady's mind. Her ex- 
terior indicates great sweetness of temper, considerable humility, 
and a mind rather highly embellished than strongly cultivated. 
But I repeat that I have not at all had the means of judging. 

My cough is still troublesome ; but if our work in the House 
of Peers were over, I should have that time to nurse it, which I 
have not now. 

I have been thanking Mrs. More for all her friendly atten- 
tions, and talking to her with frankness with respect to my own 
future worldly prospects, which I thought might remove any 
impression of my having suspected the warmth of the regards 
in that quarter. 

Battersea Rise^June 5, 1799. 

I was yesterday drawn by the pressing instances of some 
Clapham ladies to witness a feast given to the children of Miss 
Wilkinson's schools. This lady is a Baptist, and I believe of 
the Sabbatarian sort, but is rather in high esteem among our 
religious folks at Clapham, who are moved by her active bene- 
volence to recede a little from their accustomed antipathy to 
Dissenters. She herself is a woman of a very catholic spirit ; 
but the following trait will show how hard it is to clear the 
best-intentioned mind from the leaven of bigotry. Last year 
she gave a feast not only to her own scholars, but invited, as 
she also has done this year, the children of a Charity School of 
the Establishment to partake of it. But while she gave her 
own children beef and pudding in overflowing abundance, she 
would allow to the children of the Charity School only plain 
pudding. She avoided this fault, however, yesterday. 

I ought to be half ashamed to tell you of my impatience to 
see you when we have so many strong motives, not merely to 


patience, but thankfulness. But it seems to me as if even the 
society of Battersea Rise had lost its wonted power to please. 
Doubtless they are the same enlightened, amiable, pious, im- 
proving characters they ever were, nay, I think them all this 
in an increased degree, exclusive of the additional advantage 
of the female society, and yet I find no rest among them. 

I have now lodged my poor dear children in the Smallpox 
Hospital. May God preserve them and bring them in safety 
through their illness ! I have some fears on their account, but 
I am well assured of their being in good hands. I am called 
off, so ever yours affectionately, Z. MACAULAY. 

Miss Wilkinson, who is mentioned in the preceding letter, 
occupied a pleasant old house, which was still standing un- 
altered, in its charming grounds close to the town of Clapham, 
up to a recent date, when it was incorporated with the block 
of convent schools and other monastic buildings which occupy 
a large area on the western side of the Common. The writer 
remembers being present when Lord Macaulay visited it, and 
hearing him recall with great enjoyment his recollections of 
the manner in which this lady was accustomed to shock the 
susceptibilities of her neighbours belonging to the Church of 
Kngland. He related how, as children, on coming out of 
Clapham Church after the morning service on Christmas Day, 
he and his elder sisters used to look with horror at the sight of 
Miss Wilkinson seated at her window ostentatiously occupied 
in knitting, while she watched the congregation dispersing; 
and how an awful report was current in his nursery that the 
Christmas fare provided for her household consisted of roast 
vea.1 and apple pie instead of the orthodox beef and plum- 

Great interest was taken in the black children by the inhabi- 
tants of Clapham. Mr. John Campbell, himself a Missionary 
of some celebrity, was deputed by Mr. Haldane to inspect them 
sooTk after their arrival, and came up from Edinburgh on pur- 
pose to do so. He walked with them across the Common, 
then a charming piece of wild ground covered with furze 
bushes and clumps of trees, and diversified by several pretty 
potid^i to Battersea Rise, and was much struck by their intelli- 
genee and innocent gaiety. But upon arriving at Mr. Henry 
-j^liomton's gates, he was alarmed at finding that some of the 
y,ijml>€*' were missing. *It arose,' he writes, * from companies 


dining in the neighbouring mansions, astonished to see a cloud 
of young Africans, sending out their men-servants to try and 
catch some of them and bring them before them. They 
fancied all were their friends, and most willingly went with 
any who asked them/ 

Macaulay himself was in serious perplexity as to his future 
action with regard to his precious charges. He had been 
strongly remonstrated with already by men in whose judgment 
he had entire confidence, as to the impropriety of yielding the 
young Africans to the control of Mr. Haldane ; and when he 
had been fully enlightened with respect to the religious and 
political views with which that gentleman was credited, his 
determination became irrevocable that under no circumstances 
should Mr. Haldane have any share in training the minds or 
influencing the fate of the children. At the same time he fully 
recognised Mr. Haldane's claims as having been the originator 
of the scheme, and seems to have proposed to satisfy them by 
permitting Mr. Haldane to bear the expense of the establish- 
ment at Clapham, where Macaulay was resolved that the 
young blacks should remain in safety from contamination with 
any heretical or socialistic ideas. 

It was perhaps fortunate, as leading to a speedy termination 
of the disagreement, and it was certainly most natural, that 
Mr. Haldane should entertain considerable offence at such a 
proposal being made to him after the great liberality of his 
offers, and the preparations which he had made at Edinburgh 
for receiving the children. It was also darkly insinuated by 
his adherents that Macaulay had started the plan of inocula- 
tion in order to gain time, and delay the immediate removal of 
his charges to Scotland. The most minute search, however, 
in the correspondence fails to justify in the slightest degree 
this accusation; and what would seem wholly to disprove 
it, is, that before leaving Sierra Leone, Macaulay, with his 
habitual sense of justice and prudence, had carefully explained 
his intention of subjecting the children to this ordeal to their 
respective families, and had received full permission to carrj" 
out the treatment as he thought best. 

Mr. Haldane accordingly entirely declined the privilege of 
payment so graciously allotted to him. * We will not,' he wrote 
to Macaulay, *so mix the work. Either you or I shall ha\-e 


the whole charge.' Mr. Wilberforce and Henry Thornton 
came nobly forward ; and when finally, by their assistance and 
that of other friends, the greater portion of the funds necessary 
for the maintenance and education of the poor blacks was 
provided, Macaulay exclaimed with heartfelt relief, * At last my 
children are rescued from the grasp of Mr. Haldane ! ' On the 
other hand, the affair seems to have made little impression 
upon the mind of Mr. Haldane, whose wealth and influence 
enabled him to engage in benevolent schemes of so extensive 
a nature that the loss of the education of twenty-five young 
Africans was soon obliterated from his recollection, and many 
years afterwards he cordially accepted the support of Macaulay 
in his controversy with the Bible Society upon the Apocrypha. 
A short adjournment of the House of Lords gave Macaulay 
at length the wished-for opportunity for a visit to Miss Mills ; 
but satisfactory as it was to his feelings to pass a happy 
Sunday in her company, yet the state of his health was such 
that he suffered severely from the hurried journey, which was 
followed by a return to the inevitable heavy business awaiting 
him in London. The details of his journey show the delay 
and inconvenience which busy men had to reckon with at that 
period in travelling. The adjournment was quite unexpected, and 
did not take place till very late on a Wednesday night, when 
the House of Lords adjourned till Monday. He returned to 
Battersea Rise to collect his things, and then went over to 
Hammersmith between three and four o'clock on Thursday 
morning to await the Bath coaches. They all arrived full 
inside and out, and he was compelled to postpone his depar- 
ture until the mail in the evening. 

He was, however, cheered by the prospect of meeting his 
betrothed at the Temple later on, and of spending a peaceful 
holiday with her in the place which was so dear to him. The 
Babingtons were urgent that he should come there as soon as 
he should be set at liberty, and had extracted a promise from 
Miss Mills that she would meet him there. In truth, she 
always appears to have made an exception to her customary 
habits of reserve and seclusion in their favour, and to have 
felt completely at ease in their society. As far as can be 
traced, her friendship with Mrs. Babington was the only in- 
timacy which she formed during her married life ; but to her 


she was warmly attached, and during the course of the subse- 
quent years it will be seen that she was always ready, with 
pleasure, to visit the Babingtons, or to make them and their 
children welcome at her own house. 


BcUUrsea Rise^June 20, 1799. 

My dear Selina, — It is probable you would prefer a short 
letter to the long one I am about to write to you when you 
know that an indisposition, certainly slight, but yet of sufficient 
importance to require my confinement to the house, gives me 
the opportunity I have sought in vain for four days past. It 
is so far fortunate that our business in the House of Lords 
does not proceed till Monday ; as I suffered so materially from 
my attendance there yesterday, that I am pretty sure I should 
not have been able to attend to-day. My examination comes 
on on Monday ; and I can perceive from the mode of proceed- 
ing with respect to Dawes that the Duke of Clarence is disposed 
to make it as harassing as he can. Dawes's examination 
occupied three days, and his extreme want of recollection gave 
our opponents some advantage over him. But his simplicity, 
integrity, and coolness were very striking, and I think must 
have impressed the House as forming a strong contrast to the 
loose, rash, hasty manner in which the witnesses on the other 
side delivered themselves. It seems to be a main object with 
the Royal Duke to prove us visionaries. Dissenters, and Demo- 
crats. I think when it comes to my turn to be questioned, I 
shall not only be able to lay these notions to sleep, but to 
retort the charge on those whose cause he advocates. I think 
I might refer to you for proof of my loyalty, and of my 
preference of the English Church. 

I went a few days ago to the Inoculation Hospital and saw all 
my children, and they were not a little glad to see me again. 
They have all sickened, but except three or four, none seem to 
be materially affected. I have been earnestly praying that 
they may all live, and I have a strong hope from what I have 
seen to-day that God will be graciously pleased to restore them 
all to us, and make their future lives speak His praise. Great 
attention is paid to them in the Hospital. 

Mrs. H. More is still at the Bishop of London's, and Mrs. 
Kennicott ^ says has a duchess a day to convert while she stays 

1 Mrs. Kennicott, whose name frequently appears in the correspondence, was 
noted for having made herself an accomplished Hebrew scholar after her marriage in 
order to assist her husband, the eminent biblical critic, in his study of the text ot 


in these parts. She thinks of going to join Henry Thornton at 
Brighton when parliamentary business will admit of his going. 
You will like to hear that Mr. Pitt, unasked, unsolicited, has 
noticed in the House of Commons his intention of proposing a 
sum of money to be applied annually to our Colony; it is 
thought seven thousand pounds. Thornton was overjoyed when 
I told him of it three days ago. He ran to his wife. * Marianne, 
do you not wish me joy ? I have seven thousand a year given 
to me.' All this doubtless bodes well for Africa, and would 
seem to indicate that the time for healing her wounds and 
drying her tears, and spreading over her gloomy surface light, 
liberty, and civilisation, is not far distant. May God hasten 
it ! I need not declare my love to you but in order to fill the 
paper, having so often assured you of what I again repeat, that 
I am with truth yours most affectionately and faithfully, 

Z. Macau LAY. 

The examination appeared interminable notwithstanding the 
endeavours both of Pitt and Lord Grenville. The Bill was not 
popular at Court, which Wilberforce mentions in his diary as a 
reason for not attending the Birthday. He further says that 
Pitt had resolved to stop the cultivation of new lands by slave 
labour the following year. 

On the 24th of June Wilberforce writes about Macaulay's 
examination and mentions his being ill, and adds that Dawes's 
evidence was only middling, but that the lawyers were charmed 
with his honesty. In Wilberforce's opinion there was a strong 
probability of the Slave Limitation Bill being carried suc- 

Meanwhile Miss Mills had removed to the Temple, where 
Macaulay's presence was eagerly awaited, and where he longed 
to be with a sick man's craving for the rest of which he is 
sorely in need. 


Old Palace Yard^June 26, 1799. 
You will like to hear that I was able to exert myself for 
more than four hours on the 24th in the House of Lords, and 
gts Thornton tells me, with very observable effect. I was ex- 
reedingty exhausted by it, and should not have been able to 
Droceed much longer. The Duke of Clarence, who sat next 
ne, observed my illness, and probably from tenderness, as he 
Lll^g^ed, proposed to adjourn. It is a particular ground of 


thankfulness to me that at such a time my recollection has 
been in no degree impaired, and that my strength is as yet, I 
trust, equal to the occasion. 

The day before yesterday our Counsel were induced by the 
impatience of the Lord Chancellor and the Bishop of Rochester 
to close my examination in chief rather abruptly, leaving 
several important points wholly untouched. But the adverse 
Counsel seem so bent on sifting me, and the Duke of Clarence 
seems so anxious of displaying his acuteness, and Lord Gren- 
ville will be so attentive to bring in towards the close of the 
whole a few of his weighty, judicious, pointed, and comprehen- 
sive questions, that I have no doubt of having sufficient 
opportunity of delivering my mind on every part of the subject 
Hitherto the cross-examination I have undergone has tended 
to nothing but to multiply words, and in some degree to 
confirm my direct examination. One main object with our 
adversaries is to protract ; as they hope by delay to effect 
what they could not otherwise, the defeat of our measures. 

Were such a cup of happiness as I now have before me wholly 
unmixed, it might perhaps be too much to bear ; and if, since 
my arrival, my hopes of enjoying your society have been 
disappointed ; if I have been harassed by work when I wanted 
ease ; if my mind has been so wholly occupied by one subject 
that I have not had time to turn my thoughts to the object I 
have most at heart, I mean our marriage; if I have been 
weakened by indisposition and depressed by pain ; in what other 
way ought I to regard those seemingly adverse circumstances 
than as medicines fitted to cure or prevent the worse evils of 
vanity, inconsiderateness, selfishness, worldly mindedness, self- 
will, and presumption, which more than probably would have 
followed the full tide of worldly happiness and enjoyment ? 

Soon after this gets to the Temple you will be there to 
peruse it. I would I were with you. I shall be with you in 
spirit about eight at night, enjoying the unfeigned and affec- 
tionate welcome which you and your sister will then be receiv- 
ing from our dear friends. I can say nothing as to the time of 
my joining your party, though in my present state I should 
add little to the hilarity of it. When I can I shall come. In 
the meantime I wish you all the happiness which Rothiey 
Temple is capable of affording, and which I know to be no 
mean wish. 

I have broken the seal to say that I think myself a little 
better to-day. Yesterday's examination was entirely by the 
adverse Counsel. They laboured very hard to fix on me an 
imputation of Jacobinism, and had got together for that end 
scraps of letters and words of sentences so far back as the year 


1793. They mean, I believe, to continue the same sort of work 
to-day ; but I think they themselves must be convinced it can 
tend to nothing but to waste time. I appear again in the 
House of Lords at two o'clock. 

Battersea Rise^July 2, 1799. 
I am better to-day, but feverish symptoms are still apt to 
recur. The African children are about to come out of the 
Hospital without a proper place being provided for them. It 
has been quite out of my own power to beat about for one, 
nor could I procure one like-minded to engage in the search. 
They must return, I think, in the interim to their former 
lodgings at Clapham till their destination be finally fixed. The 
Scotch plan is abandoned on account of Mr. Haldane's intem- 
perance and precipitancy, and it is resolved to educate them in 
the vicinity of London. I wish much a proper person could be 
found for their immediate superintendent. You and Babington 
and the Vicar ^ must lay your heads together to find one, re- 
membering what a paragon we require. 

Yesterday the Counsel on both sides finished their proceed- 
ings in the House of Lords. The speech of Mr. Stephen, our 
Counsel, was fraught with good sense and much solid argument, 
and was also embellished with a good deal of classical imagery 
and allusion, but it was not sufficiently condensed for their 
Lordships' patience. In many points he seemed to me not at 
all to know the strength of his case. Indeed I have found 
scarce a man with whom I converse who fully understands the 
matter of the Sierra Leone Establishment and the Slave Trade, 
as opposed to each other, except Thornton. Mr. Law,* the 
adverse Counsel, replied to Mr. Stephen in a short but clever 
speech, full of pleasantry and full of lies; after which Lord 
Grenville, in a very manly way, gave notice that, after hearing 
all the evidence which had been adduced on both sides, and 
aJJ that had been advanced by the Counsel, he felt it a most 
important duty he owed to his country, as well as to mankind 
at large, to press the adoption of the present measure, and that 
on Friday next he should move the second reading of the Bill. 

At length the end came. On the sth of July Wilberforce 
notes in his diary that the second reading of the Bill took place 
in the House of Lords, when the members were twenty-seven 
in favour of the Bill and thirty-two against it, and thirty-six 
proxies on each side. The Bishops* proxies were all for the 

1 The Reverend Aulay Macaulay, who was Vicar of Rothley at that period. 
3 Aiterwards Lord EUenborough. 


Bill. He adds: 'Thurlow profane balderdash, Westmoreland 
coarse, Bishop of Rochester ill-judged application of Scripture. 
Grenville spoke well. Never so disappointed and grieved by 
any defeat. — July StA. To town early to meet Pitt and Gren- 
ville about Slave Trade business ; discussion for an hour and 
private with Pitt ; he sanguine about carrying it next year. 
Grenville says we had fourteen more but for mistakes about 
proxies, and should have carried it. Pitt clear the King has 
used no influence against us. Stephen most earnest for our 
cause, but uncandid about Pitt ; generously returning fees, above 
two hundred pounds, in the handsomest way.' 


Old Palace Yard^July% 1799. 
My dear Selina, — I scarce know in what terms to say 
that my stay in town is again rendered a matter of absolute 
uncertainty. I have been almost provoked to anger with 
Wilberforce and Thornton, though very unreasonably, for I 
believe at the same time they insist only on what is proper 
in existing circumstances. In their conversation yesterday with 
Lord Grenville and Mr. Pitt, it was discovered to be necessary 
immediately to draw up certain separate Memorials, to the 
King in Council, to the Admiralty, and to the Lords of the 
Treasury, which should lead to the attainment of certain objects 
materially involving the interests of the Colony. They say, 
and perhaps with truth, for I am almost too much mortified 
to grant them thus much, that these Memorials cannot be drawn 
up without my help. To-day I have been labouring at them, 
but when they may be completed, or what new contingencies 
may arise, I shall not take upon me even to guess. It is still 
possible I may get away to-morrow, but I have found it quite 
a vain attempt as yet to bring them to any definite opinion 
as to that point. I am ashamed to tell you that I have felt an 
unjustifiable degree of mortification on this occasion, and have 
been venting my feelings a little too strongly to both of them. 
They laugh at me, and blame my own rashness in making 
promises. Is it not quite provoking? I had been valuing 
myself on my patience, but really I find it inadequate to 
repress improper and childish risings on this occasion. All 
this is very foolish, but these reiterated delays and disap- 
pointments at such a time are almost too much for me, but 
I trust are not without their use. They ought to lead to 
patience. With the exercise of this grace indeed I have been 


rather familiarised of late, as I have found in contemplating 
the recent decision of the House of Lords. The profligacy, 
however, as well as the wrath of man, shall ultimately conduce 
to God's glory, nor shall His purposes be obstructed by the 
flippant declarations of Westmoreland, the impious and profane 
sarcasms of Thurlow, or all the weight of influence which the 
Duke of Clarence can throw into the scale. 
. The Court of Directors have come to a general resolution 
appointing me in their service. The state of the Company's 
affairs may require my return t6 town sooner than I at present 
expect, and may fix my stay there to quite an indefinite 
period. Would it not be on the whole a duty to avail our- 
selves of the quiet I trust we shall enjoy for a few weeks for 
accomplishing our marriage? I see some objections to this 
plan, but I do not think they are weighty enough to stand in 
competition with its advantages, even excluding every con- 
sideration of a more personal and affecting nature, and which 
I do not mean at present to urge. Mrs. Thornton has given us 
the use of their house and seryants in King's Arms Yard till we 
can suit ourselves with a convenient place of residence. 

By the time I get to the Temple you will have turned over 
in your mind these suggestions, and be able perhaps to give a 
categorical answer. Praying God to bless you and all our dear 
friends who are about you, I remain, ever yours most faithfully 
and affectionately, Z. Macaulay. 

Parliament was prorogued on the 12th of July, and on the 
same day Macaulay set out for Rothley Temple, where he re- 
mained till the first week in August ; an allowance of holiday 
which appears extremely limited when it is considered that he 
had been working without intermission since the beginning of 
the year 1796, and that his health was shattered by African 
fever. But he felt that, burdened as the Directors were with 
important private and public affairs in addition to the concerns 
of the Sierra Leone Company, he could not with propriety 
refuse his aid, when at all able to transact business, so as to 
relieve them from a considerable amount of details with which 
they were not conversant, and with which he was fully com- 
petent to deal from his special sources of information. They 
had been too considerate to press for his return, but the pleasure 
SLtid relief with which he was welcomed were some recompense 
to him for the sacrifice, and his frame of mind now was a very 
contented one. His prospects in life were fairly assured in the 
fxioderate degree which was sufficient for his happiness. He 


was looking forward to an immediate marriage, after whidi 
the Directors undertook that he should have a further holiday. 
On his arrival in town he was claimed by his friends, and 
domesticated with the Thorntons and Wilberforces, and for 
all these mercies his grateful heart appears to have been over- 
flowing with thankfulness. 

He received at this time a characteristic letter from Mr. 


Temple, August 6, 1799. 

My dear Zachary, — I am glad the day of marriage is fixed, 
and we shall be very much disappointed if you do not persevere 
in your intention of coming hither as soon as you are united. 

I have been thinking you over, in order to act the part of 
censor which you assign me. I shall execute it to the best 
of my power, without, however, laying down my office when I 
have finished my letter, for I shall probably consider myself as 
invested with it (and wish you to do the same on your part for 
my benefit) as long as we both live. 

Your chief faults, my dear Zachary, seem to me nearly con- 
nected with natural ardour of mind and firmness of character. 
These qualities are excellent when kept within due bounds, but 
their very excellence tends to relax the watch which should be 
set over them. The first is apt to encroach on that smiling 
serenity of soul which is so amiable in itself, and so nearly 
connected with Christian love and meekness; and the latter 
tends to destroy in some instances, and to deaden in others, 
the sensibilities which are the proper concomitants and the 
most pleasing expressions of those dispositions. I mean such 
sensibilities as adorned our Saviour when He called on the weary 
and heavy laden to come to Him, declaring Himself meek and 
lowly in heart, and promising them rest for their souls ; when He 
wept over the grave of Lazarus and over Jerusalem ; when, at 
His instigation probably. His beloved Apostle laid his head on 
His bosom ; when He said thrice to Peter, feed My sheep and 
lambs ; when He discoursed with His apostles previous to His 
trial, showing that those whom He loved He did indeed love 
unto the end. I will not multiply further instances, or show 
that I do not speak of spurious or excessive sensibility, but 
true Christian sensibility. I think, however, you have made 
considerable progress since you were last in England in these 
graces and in other points. I was glad to find that you were 
more pleased with Mr. Grant than heretofore, for this was to 


me one strong symptom of a change in yourself. You have 
always shown me the greatest kindness, and thought too well 
of me, though differing considerably from you in some respects. 
No personal feeling, my dear Zachary, prompts either my 
present criticism or commendation. 

Ardour of mind and firmness united lead to high acquire- 
ments, and thus, by their effects, as well as by their intrinsic 
importance, elevate the man, and make humility a more difficult 
virtue than in ordinary cases. Nothing I have at this time 
seen in you has prompted this remark, but it is founded in 
human nature, and suggested by what I recollect in you here- 
tofore, especially in the earlier periods of our acquaintance. 

Contrary to your suggestion, I have, you see, dwelt a good 
deal on defects ; for when the grace of God rules in the soul 
(as must be the case with all who are truly Christians), the most 
prominent defects (I speak of no others) hold a high place in 
the catalogue of faults. 

As to positive faults, I have not seen one of your old ones 
which does not appear to have been greatly weakened, if not 
apparently destroyed. I say apparently, for we well know what 
stubborn life animates the roots of these baneful plants, and 
how apt the latter are to reappear when least expected. * Watch ' 
and ' pray ' are directions peculiarly applicable to what regards 
our old faults, whether constitutional or habitual. Thanks to 
God that he hath given you so fair an earnest of that complete 
victory promised by our blessed Saviour to his faithful servants ! 
I allude particularly to impatience, self-confidence, and a love 
of praise. May you still be enabled to foil these fell adversaries ! 
Shall I mention the instances in which, as far as I now recollect, 
they used most to appear? In the style of your letters and 
your tones in reading being too oratorical ; in something of this 
in your conversation also at times ; in a boldness in your looks, 
and a hardness and spirit of opposition in arguing, and in 
joining in conversation sometimes as a master, sometimes as 
an equal in knowledge, on subjects on which your degree of 
information would have made it more decorous and useful for 
you to have taken a lower station. I dare say you know more 
pK>ints of this sort than I do. They may serve as beacons to give 
warning of the attack of the internal foe. I can unfeignedly 
say that in mentioning your faults, I am myself strongly re- 
minded of some of my own. May Christ the purifier cleanse 
us both from every stain ! I ought to have said, when speaking 
of old faults, that I fear the view of error or extravagance 
may sometimes drive you to the borders, if not within the 
confines, of an error or extravagance (in your opinions I 
mean) of an opposite kind, instead of producing due anxiety 


to cleave to simple truth and moderation. I, too, have this 
fault, I believe. Those whose minds are ardent seldom bear in 
mind as they ought how unfavourable ardour is to sound judg- 
ment. They are apt to be so busy in viewing a question in 
different lights, and examining the different arguments whidi 
bear upon it, that they do not consider how necessary it is that 
they should be cool, composed, and candid, in order to discover 
truth. I need not say that there is often a grievous want of 
these qualities where there is much exterior steadiness of 
demeanour and circumspection. Indeed I have often found 
in my own case that reserve and caution have proceeded from 
pride and violence struggling, or at least muttering, within. 

I shall now dismiss the subject of character, and say a 
little on another. You have been a grave and active African 
Governor, surrounded by business and difficulties and dangers, 
and enjoying little affectionate, and no female society. Selina 
has been entirely with females, and her companions have been 
her near relations and friends. Under these circumstances you 
meet as man and wife, with habits of domestic life more different 
than those of men and women, who act on the same principles, 
generally are. She must endeavour to assimilate herself to you, 
and you to her, without either of you departing from your 
proper sphere. Part of your duty will consist in improving 
yourself in an art you never yet studied, the art of relaxing 
in a way which may suit a pious, affectionate, and amiable wife. 
* Dulce est desipere in loco,* said the Roman poet, who was a 
bachelor. Had he been an affectionate husband with such a 
wife as Selina, he would have said this with more warmth. But 
hours of relaxation are among the most useful, as well as most 
pleasant seasons of matrimonial life, if they do not recur too 
frequently, and if the source of enjoyment be pure and hallowed. 
When the soul unbends and suffers the thoughts and feelings to 
take their own course, they will naturally employ themselves 
about the most interesting objects. Something purely religious 
or nearly allied to religion will attract them, and your care 
must be that in pursuing their object they select a proper path. 
You must not expect your fellow-traveller to be pleased with 
her journey, if you drag her over deserts or through swamps, 
or bury her in the depths of a forest Though she will not 
dislike a good deal of these occasionally, yet in general you 
should lead her through cheerful cornfields and pastures, and 
when opportunity offers go out of your way a little to show her 
a flowery meadow or a winding stream. I trust we shall soon 
hear more of her. — Kind wishes, THOMAS Babington. 

I do not know that you mistake your own character in any 


At length Macaulay was set at liberty to make his way to 
Bristol, where the marriage took place on the 26th of August 
1799. The only particular that has been preserved about the 
occasion is that it is mentioned in a letter that after the 
departure of the happy pair, with the inevitable sister in the 
carriage with them, as was the custom of the period, the Miss 
Mores shut themselves into a room to *sob their fill/ Patty 
More had been consistent in her opposition, and when after 
much consultation Miss Mills had decided on sending her an 
invitation to her wedding, Patty More wrote an answer, which, 
though not unkind, was certainly a very strange one, and con- 
tained a -mysterious intimation that they would never meet 
again in this world. Miss Mills, however, did not take the hint, 
but with great sense went out at once to Cowslip Green to pay 
a farewell visit, and from the date of this interview Miss Patty 
seems to have dropped all ill feeling, and when the marriage 
had actually taken place, she resumed very friendly relations 
with Mr. and Mrs. Macaulay. 

After a stay of some weeks at Rothley Temple, Macaulay 
and his wife came up to London to Mr. Thornton's house in 
King's Arms Yard, where they were received with the greatest 
kindness; and remained, making visits from Saturday till 
Monday to Battersea Rise, until they settled in a house at 
Lambeth, which they intended to occupy until the rooms at 
the Sierra Leone Office should be prepared for their reception. 
M acaulay's hands were full of the affairs of the Colony he had 
so recently quitted, and to the service of which he was now 
permanently attached as Secretary to the Sierra Leone Com- 
pany, with a salary of ;f400 a year. During the long walks 
which he describes from the office to his temporary abode at 
Lambeth Place, and on pretty frequently to Clapham to visit 
the African children, over whom he watched with paternal care, 
he meditated deeply over the project which was already under 
consideration for publishing a magazine which, to use his own 
expression when writing to his friends, should * counteract the 
evils existing at present in the religious world, and at the same 
time recommend religion to the consciences of the worldly.* 

Early in 1800 Macaulay 's health gave cause for serious 
anxiety, and the Thorntons called in Dr. Frazer, one of the first 
physicians of the time, who enjoyed the privilege of being a 


brother-in-law of Mr. Grant, and had in consequence been 
adopted as chief medical adviser to the band of friends. He 
pronounced that Macaulay had a liver complaint, but that he 
believed proper treatment at Bath and entire rest would subdue 
it Henry Thornton exerted himself successfully to procure 
the necessary leave from the Board, and lent Macaulay horses, 
that he might enjoy his favourite exercise and ride every day; 
and the interval arranged for appears to have been made good 
use of, although it certainly was not one of the entire rest 
prescribed by the doctor. 

Macaulay had formed an incurable habit of rising very early 
in the morning to work ; and was accustomed to obtain a light 
for kindling the fire in his study by dipping a match in a bottle 
of phosphorus, which was perhaps one of the simplest of the 
many contrivances for grappling with difficulties of that sort 
which are now swept away by the conveniences of modern life. 
His letters to different friends are filled with allusions to the 
numerous subjects which occupied his thoughts; and he even 
ventured to show some impatience at the delays interposed by 
Mr. Pitt in granting the expected money for the West African 
settlements, and to express a hope that Mr. Wilberforce's 
influence might be exerted efficaciously to extract still larger 
sums from the great Minister. Sierra Leone was indeed causing 
considerable anxiety to its rulers. The Colony was in a bad 
state, the Settlers were turbulent and disaffected, and Mr. 
Ludlam, who did not meet with loyal support from some of the 
European officials, urged upon the Directors that he should be 
permitted to resign. 

Among other interests, Macaulay now occupied himself in 
taking an active part in the formation of the Religious Tract 
Society, which had grown naturally out of the great success 
which had attended upon the distribution of the Cheap Reposi- 
tory Tracts. The present generation can scarcely understand 
the dearth there was then of pure and good literature suitable 
for the middle and lower classes of society, and therefore 
cannot appreciate at a just value the merit of the exertions 
made by a small knot of excellent persons to supply the need. 
One of the early rules of the Society was that the tommittee 
of Management should consist in equal numbers of Churchmen 
and Nonconformists ; and a Depository for the sale of publica- 


tions was opened at 10 Stationers* Court, Ludgate Hill. 
Macaulay's name is on the list of the Committee for 1800; 
and in October of the same year he was, together with another 
member of the Committee, appointed to correspond with 
Protestants on the Continent with a view to the extension of 
the work abroad. The society soon justified its existence by 
the enormous extent and variety of its operations, and it has 
been the parent of many similar associations in every part of 
the civilised globe. 

The superintendence of the young Africans whom he had 
brought to England had hitherto occupied a considerable 
portion of his time. They were at last satisfactorily settled at 
Clapham under the eye of the excellent rector, John Venn, who 
had in conjunction with Thornton made a happy selection of a 
schoolmaster under whose charge they were placed. This man, 
Mr. William Greaves, who came from Yorkshire, did his duty 
thoroughly by his pupils ; but the climate proved fatal to the 
constitutions of the greater number, and by the end of 1805 
only six of the poor children remained alive. The disappoint- 
ment was, however, made up to Mr. Greaves by many of the 
residents at Clapham Common sending their sons daily to 
profit by his tuition, a confidence of which he was well worthy, 
as his scholarship was good, and his kindly disposition and 
good temper won the attachment of the boys. 

But besides his other employments Macaulay was particularly 
occupied during the spring of 1800 in repelling an acrimonious 
attack that was made upon him by some of the more prejudiced 
partisans of Missions, who asserted that he was hostile to all 
efforts to spread Christianity among the heathen; and who 
refused to accept the principle that proper discrimination must 
be used in the choice of persons offering themselves as Mis- 
sionaries, and that such Missionaries who proved themselves 
untrustworthy, and unfit for their high calling, should be dis- 
missed. Thornton acted as chief pacificator in the dispute, 
while at the same time he entirely backed up Macaulay's 
opinion. Macaulay answered the attack in a letter addressed 
to his chief opponent, from which some extracts are now given ; 
and in the end Macaulay's views prevailed, and were in a great 
measure adopted in the formation of the rules for the guidance 
af the Church Missionary Society. 


The letter, which covers sixteen foolscap pages, written 
extremely closely, commences by Macaulay, who was always 
a fair fighter, thanking his adversary for the openness and 
candour with which the attack had been made, and saying it 
enabled him to reply with equal freedom. He continues :— 

* Friendly I was and still am to Missionary efforts proceeding 
on right principles, and conducted by proper instruments. I 
have been the unwilling witness of Missionary efforts which, 
in my opinion, have done more real injury to the cause of 
Christianity than perhaps all the opposition which the enemies 
of Missions have during that time raised to them. 

* You will allow that there may be Missions to which it would 
be proper to show no friendly disposition, for instance a Mission 
from the College of Jesuits, or a Mission of the disciples of 
Priestley. I merely mean to establish the principle that perfect 
friendliness to properly conducted Missions, in other words, an 
ardent desire for the extension of true Gospel light, may be 
perfectly consistent with harbouring doubts and even dis- 
approbation of particular Missions. 

* I am glad the inquiries you were induced to make into the 
truth of my communication have led to a more accurate know- 
ledge of the real state of matters among the Missionaries, 
however painful that discovery may have been to you. I 
should have sincerely rejoiced had the conduct of the Mis- 
sionaries afforded no ground of blame ; but as it is, I think it 
highly desirable that there should be a full development to 
those concerned in the management of Missions, and perhaps 
some discovery to the religious world in general, of the evils 
which have hitherto mainly contributed to diminish if not to 
destroy the probability of success. 

*You say that the principles to which you wish ever to 
adhere would have rendered no motive satisfactory to your 
conscience for exhibiting any class of mankind in such a light. 
But surely Christian principles would lead you, if you exhibited 
to view the character of any man or set of men, to do it truly. 
I am not aware that charity requires us to form a more favour- 
able opinion of any one than a comparison of his conduct with 
the Scriptures will warrant There is a wide difference in my 
estimation between scriptural charity and that drivelling charity 
which is blind to the defects of others ; nor is this last anywhere 
required of us. 

* I think that you, my dear sir, can scarce mean to say that 
the mere circumstance of a religious profession and a Missionary 
engagement ^re of sufficient potency to render such a repre- 
sentation, though it might be true in some cases, yet a priori 


and of necessity, inapplicable here. The course of my experi- 
ence would by no means lead me to the same conclusion, but 
to a very contrary one. I have had some access to know in 
what degree a Mission may become a mere worldly pursuit, 
sought after to gratify sloth, vanity, curiosity, discontent, and 
ambition; and till the Missionary Directors are sufficiently 
aware of this, they may plan Missions and send forth Mission- 
aries, but they will have, in fact, comparatively little fruit from 
their efforts ; though they may talk of having it. 

* You say that the rack would not have constrained you to do 
what I have done. What am I to infer from this ? Exactly 
what I have long suspected to be the case, namely, that there 
exists in the minds of some a previous determination to draw 
what is called the veil of love over the misconduct of Mission- 
aries, however flagrant it may have been. From your letter I 
may fairly infer that you would rather be put to the rack than 
minute down and communicate to another such information as 
I have given to you, in any case, nay, even if it were true. And 
yet, sir, if a man, however mean his discernment, or however 
questionable the soundness of his judgment may be, should 
have communicated an account of the Missionaries which should 
extol their piety, and note with apparent feeling their pious 
expressions, 1 appeal to you whether he might not justly have 
hoped that, without any very minute investigation of its pro- 
bability, or strict comment on its possible exaggeration, this 
account should have been dispersed abroad, retailed in sermons, 
and if not engrafted into some more bulky publication, at least 
chronicled in an Evangelical Magazine. 

* So far am I from agreeing with you on this point, that had 
I been in your place I should have felt it a duty not only to 
investigate thoroughly the characters of the Missionaries, not 
only to minute down every article of credible information I 
might have received on that head, but to use the discovery 
for very important purposes, namely, to excite the Directors 
to nnore vigilance and care in the selection of Missionaries. 

* You also write as if such a description as mine must be 
false ; and as if it could on no principle whatever be justified, 
even supposing it to be true. You must know that I have had 
oportunities of studying the characters and witnessing the 
conduct of Missionaries. In one case where a Mission was pro- 
jected by myself, supported almost exclusively by my own 
religious friends, and where the Missionaries were selected by 
Dr. Coke, I had the mortification of being the witness of very 
reprehensible conduct on the part of the Missionaries. 

' fiow let me ask what was to have been done in this case ? 
Acting on the principles of your letter, I should have concealed. 


at least palliated, these enormities. Acting on my own, I made 
as fair and impartial an exhibit of them as I could ; an exhibit, 
the fairness of which those were most convinced of who bad 
most access to know the originals. 

* I might, it is true, have " covered " these things ; but would 
it have been charity towards those individuals who had ex- 
pended their money in the Mission, and who must have been 
called on for fresh sums? Would it have been charity (this 
is a weighty question) to the souls of the heathen, for whose 
salvation so much zeal is professed? Nay, I even doubt 
whether it would have been charity as it respected the indi- 
viduals themselves. One necessary ingredient of true Christian 
charity would in such a case have been wanting. I mean 

* You will remember that I gave the account no unnecessary 
publicity. The communication was made by me to Mr. Hard- 
castle and to Mr. Thornton, the former a Missionary Director, 
and the latter one whom I know to have at heart the interests 
of true religion, under a strong sense of its being my duty to do 
so, and in the confidence, a confidence I have seen no reason to 
retract, that in their hands it would be made to answer bene- 
ficial purposes. 

* You call loudly for support and money, and yet you judge 
those hardly, not to say uncharitably, who think it their duty 
to examine what it is they are required to support, and to 
what purpose their money is to be applied. 

* I had been long at a loss to account for some circumstances 
in the management of Missions which your letter tends to 
explain. I have often wondered how men whom I conceived 
to possess at least a common share of discernment, should have 
been so unfortunate in their selection of Missionaries. But I no 
longer see cause to wonder, if it be laid down, as it seems to be 
by you, that those minute inquiries which can alone lead to a 
complete development df characters are absolutely wrong, and 
serve only to mark malevolence. It is from others that these 
must be learnt, and until the Missionary Directors become so 
sensible of this truth as to exercise something of that diligence 
in pursuing those inquiries which you so severely reprobate in 
me, we may expect to witness frequent repetitions of the 
unhappy transactions which have heretofore been exhibited. 

* I do not think it necessary to make any particular profession 
of my attachment to the cause of Christianity. I leave to those 
who know me to judge of that ; but I have no scruple in 
expressing my doubts whether Missions, conducted as I have 
hitherto seen them, tend in the main to advance its interests. 
While this doubt continues, and while it even gathers strength 


from what is contained in your letter, I must still think it my 
duty to inquire, as I have fair opportunity, into the circum- 
stances attending Missions ; and if I should meet with informa- 
tion sufficiently important, to impart the same to such friends 
as I think likely to employ it beneficially/ 

It maybe remembered that during the early part of 1800 
Macaulay was seriously out of health, and he ends his letter 
with explanations that it had been constantly interrupted, and 
that he had had considerable difficulty in completing it 

The Society now known by the title of the Church Missionary 
Society was the fruit of several years of earnest thought and 
discussion among the Evangelical leaders, and had been formally 
founded by them in April 1799. Although they were willing 
to join with Nonconformists not only in philanthropic work but 
on religious questions, as is testified by their support of the 
Religious Tract Society and afterwards of the Bible Society, 
they had a strong belief that the cause of Missions stood upon 
a different footing, and that their duty lay in insisting upon 
Native Christian communities being united to that Church of 
which they were members, and to which they professed a warm 
attachment Probably Macaulay's recollections of his experi- 
ence at Freetown with the Baptist Missionaries Grigg and 
Garvin induced him to lend a strong support to this view, and 
liad a considerable share in influencing the decision of his 

The Rules of the new Society were framed principally by 
Mr. Simeon and Mr. Venn, two of the leading clergymen of the 
Evangelical party. Mr. Charles Simeon, a man of good family 
SLTid large fortune, occupied for more than half a century the 
incumbency of Holy Trinity at Cambridge, and devoted a con- 
siderable portion of his patrimony to the purchase of advowsons 
to which he appointed young men who had been trained under 
his supervision, and who had adopted his views. In most of 
the populous cities of England Mr. Simeon's appearance could 
be "welcomed by clergymen who, owning him gratefully as their 
spiiritual father, looked to him for direction and advice in their 
fxiinistry ; and by congregations who fully recognised that to 
his unceasing labours they were indebted for the revival of 
Evangelical religion. JohA Venn, the rector of Clapham, came 
of SL family eminent for piety, zeal, and learning, and it is 



remarkable that ever since the time of the Reformation all his 
paternal ancestor? had been in Holy orders in the Church of 
England. He pointed out that the new Society must be founded 
upon the Church principle, but not the High Church principle; 
and this line of conduct was adhered to. It was decided that 
only members of the Church of England should be eligible for 
the Committee of Management, and that it should consist half 
of clergymen and half of laymen. Macaulay was upon the 
Committee as well as most of his particular friends ; and it may 
be observed that placing his name upon the committee of a 
philanthropic Society was no empty form with him, but that he 
made a practice of attending the committee meetings regularly, 
and of lending his best endeavours to furthering the interests 
of the Society and extending the sphere of its operations. His 
assistance was found so valuable that many engagements of 
this description were forced upon him, besides others which 
seem to have originated either wholly or partially with him. 
He was one of the projectors of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society which was started in 1804, and was placed upon the 
Committee. He was also, in the early years of the century, 
instrumental in forming and carrying on the Society for Better- 
ing the Condition of the Poor, the Society for the Suppression 
of Vice, and the Merchant Seaman's Bible Society. In his 
correspondence he refers to meetings continually held at his 
own house to inquire into and relieve effectually cases of abso- 
lute destitution, and finally a small Association, which may be 
regarded as a precursor of the Charity Organisation Society, 
appears to have taken its rise out of these informal meetings. 
He had conceived a high admiration for the Homilies, and 
joined with a few sympathisers in thinking that an associa- 
tion confined strictly to the issue of the formularies of the 
Church of England, without the addition of any comment, 
would be useful in meeting a want generally felt at that time. 
Their opinion proved correct, and the Prayer-book and Homily 
Society which was launched by them met with extraordinary 

As the summer advanced Mrs. Babington became urgent 
that her sister-in-law, whose health was now in a delicate state, 
should move to Rothley Temple, and that the birth of her 
expected child should take place under its roof. Mrs. Macaulay 


had lingered on at home, unwilling to leave her husband before 
it should be absolutely necessary, but the prospect of some 
short expeditions on business which would compel him to be 
absent made Macaulay anxious to place her safely under his 
sister's care, and he took her down to the Temple. 

That abode of peace, however, shared in the anxieties of the 
period. The high price of all articles of food, and the prospect 
of a scanty harvest, gave rise to gloomy forebodings. During 
the previous winter the Babingtons had endeavoured to alleviate 
in a degree the distress prevalent in their neighbourhood, where 
meat was so dear as to be quite beyond the reach of any 
labouring family, by making and distributing regularly large 
quantities of good soup, a form of charity then unusual. But 
now bread riots had begun in the neighbouring town of 
Leicester, and caused continual disturbances ; and by allusions 
in the correspondence it would appear that encounters with 
angry and threatening mobs were events of no rare occurrence. 
Macaulay was unable to remain in Leicestershire at that 
time above a few hours. His immediate return to town was 
imperatively necessary, as the affairs of Sierra Leone were in 
a critical state. It was true that Wilberforce's influence with 
Pitt had stood the Colony in good stead at this conjuncture. 
Parliament had given an annual allowance of ;^4000 for the 
civil establishment ; and the Directors had a promise from the 
Government of a grant of ;^ 17,000, and some hopes of a further 
allowance for the construction of a fort. A Governor of Goree 
had also been appointed with strict instructions to pay atten- 
tion to the requests of the Governor of Sierra Leone. The 
Directors expected confidently that this great accession of 
strength would relieve them from the unceasing difficulties 
caused by the troublesome Nova Scotians,^ and that if once 
security to property and plantations were ensured, the 
Colony would prosper and do well. Mr. Thornton suggested 
forming a private subscription among themselves in aid of a 
gra.nt: which the Government proposed to give to be specially 
applied to education, and with his customary liberality offered 
a contribution of ;f200 a year. There was much to discuss 
with the Directors for which leisure and opportunity had been 
j^stntityg during the stress of the Parliamentary session, and 

^ See page 21. 


therefore during the months of August and September Macaulay 
went backwards and forwards constantly between London and 
Bognor, where the Thorntons and Wilberforces were staying. 


Portsmouth^ August lo, i8oa 
Dating a letter to you from this place recalls a crowd of 
images of things that are past, and excites, I trust, proper 
feelings of thankfulness for the fulfilment of hopes which were 
then my solace, though mixed with many a fear. The Lord 
bless you, my love, and grant you the same grounds for grateful 
recollection that I have. 

I had a pleasant visit at Bognor to the Thorntons, who sent 
their carriage to meet me at Midhurst, but found Henry not so 
well as I could wish. Marianne was as shy and humorous 
as ever, little Henry fat and lair, Miss Grant sallow and 
dejected, and Miss Charity Amelia Grant charming. I must 
see Mr. Grant on my way home, which may keep me from 
getting to Birchin Lane till a late hour. 

London^ September 28, i8oa 
On coming from Christ Church this forenoon I found a letter 
from Mr. Thornton on the table which had come by express, 
and was dated at Bognor yesterday noon. It brought the 
distressing intelligence that Mrs. Wilberforce was seriously ill 
of a fever. I hope it may please God to spare her to our united 
prayers ; but it is an unspeakably consoling consideration that 
our loss will, we may almost say assuredly, be her gain. 
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Hers is a spirit 
that, with all its imperfections, has been evidently ripening for 
immortality ; and whether it be the will of God that the present 
affliction should be commissioned only further to purify the 
soul, or to separate it for ever from sin and sorrow, those to 
whom her best interests are dear ought to mingle joy with 
their weeping. I have thought it right to employ a portion ot 
this day in supplications for her and her husband, whose show 
of grief seems still more to call for sympathy. I have been led 
to look back on the whole course of my acquaintance with Mrs. 
Wilberforce and my conduct towards her, and I have rather 
feared that I may not on all occasions have exercised that 
candour towards her which is our duty to all. I have been 
sharp-sighted to notice her defects, and slow in marking her 
many excellencies. I trust the reflection has been profitable to 
me, and I hope the fault I Jiave committed will be forgiven, and 


the temper ft indicates subdued through that blood on which I 
beh'eve she implicitly relies. 

These are occasions also for calling our hearts to a strict 
account, and inquiring seriously whether we be ready to resign 
our dearest enjoyments, to part with our fondest hopes, to sacri- 
fice our choicest treasures in this world, at the command of 
Him who endured for our sakes more than we can ever endure 
for His. But why do any events prove trials to us ? Why but 
because of the low measure of our faith. It is faith that over- 
comes the world, making tribulation joyful, and finding in those 
privations from which flesh and blood are most apt to shrink, 
matter of thankfulness and praise. Surely the life of faith is 
the only desirable life. It lifts the soul above the accidents of 
time. It unites the soul to God, and puts it even now in 
possession of joys which are unspeakable. This is the life I 
would live, and which I would make it my daily prayer that 
you and I and all who are dear to us may live, till faith be lost 
in sight. 

I have been thinking of late that we have not been sufficiently 
mindful of the new relation in which God, I trust, is about to 
place us. I am fully persuaded that no situation requires more 
of the divine aid than that of parents, and we ought to have 
been uniting our supplications for it. Let us now unite in 
applying for wisdom to direct us in the discharge of a parent's 
duty, and for grace to fortify our hearts against those tempta- 
tions, with which Satan, who knows our weakness, may be apt 
to assail us. 

I rejoice to have such good accounts of you all, and that you 
exhibited such marks of heroism on the late alarming appear- 
ances. Though I have learnt by repeated experience how 
much all men's hearts are in God's hands, and how He can 
restrain the wrath of the very fiercest, yet I was not easy in 
contemplating you surrounded by a mob. The spirits in 
which you write, however, leave no room to fear any harm from 
their ire. 

Ask Babington if he ever attended to the following coincid- 
ence. I do not think there is much in it, but I thought it 
worth noting. On the loth of August, according to Kett,^ 
/erusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar — on the loth of 
Augvtst it was again taken by Titus — and on the loth of 
August an end was put to the French Monarchy. Dawes is 
to go to Sierra Leone. 

Farewell, my love. Remember me with real kindness to all 
around you. 

» ^ffss/li^ry thi In^grpre/ero/ FropAecy, by the Rev, H. Kett, 1799 ; a book which 
went tlurough numerous editions. 


Macaulay was unable from stress of business to join his wife 
at the Temple until the month of October was well advanced, 
but at length he arrived there about ten days before the birth 
of his eldest child. That child, who was destined to become so 
illustrious, first saw the light in the ancient mansion on the 2Sth 
of October, St. Crispin's Day ; and his baptism took place in 
the chapel of the house on the 26th of November, when his 
father bestowed upon him the names of the beloved brother-in- 
law, to whom he was so deeply indebted, Thomas Babington. 
But Macaulay himself about this time was incapacitated from 
exertion, and in great suffering from the effects of a terrible fall 
he had had from his horse ; and he was unable to participate 
actively in an event which caused him deep satisfaction, the 
election of Babington as member of Parliament to fill a vacancy 
that occurred in the representation of Leicester. It was in- 
deed close upon Christmas Day before Macaulay was suffi- 
ciently recovered to return to town with his wife and child, to 
take possession of his new apartments at the Sierra Leone 
House in Birchin Lane. 

It was fortunate that Mrs. Macaulay found great happiness 
and amusement in her baby, for the rapidly increasing demands 
upon her husband's time left him little leisure for domestic 
companionship. The spring of 1801 was disturbed with alarm 
about the Colony. Every mail from Sierra Leone brought 
despatches with grave news, and at length the outbreak came. 
The Settlers demanded to be paid a maximum of wages fixed 
by themselves, and that they should be exempted from any 
contribution to the expenses of Government. On their demands 
being refused, they flew to arms. The Europeans took refuge 
in the Governor's house, which they defended for some time as 
best they could against the excited and reckless mob which 
surrounded it ; but some persons had already been killed, and 
they believed themselves to be at the very point of destruction, 
when a large vessel suddenly appeared in the offing, and diverted 
the attention of the assailants for the moment During the 
temporary pause that ensued the Governor found means to 
communicate with the vessel. By an extraordinary piece of 
good fortune, it proved to contain a detachment of the 24th 
Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Smith, escorting 
from America a number of Maroons who the Directors had 


arranged should be admitted into the Colony. As soon as the 
account of the state of affairs on shore reached the ship, no time 
was lost in effecting a landing. The sailors and the Maroons 
volunteered at once to assist the handful of soldiers, and were 
eager to stretch their legs on shore, and to join in the fray. 
Lieutenant Smith's arrival in command of his little force was a 
truly dramatic intervention, and proved to be the concluding 
act of the play. He showed both courage and s^nse in his 
management of the barbarous and childish people with whom 
he had to deal, and in forty-eight hours peace was outwardly 
restored. Shortly afterwards a ship of war arrived from Eng- 
land conveying Mr. Dawes, who had again consented to take 
charge of the affairs of the Colony, and who had brought some 
pieces of ordnance with him to overawe the Settlers, so that it 
was hoped matters were placed on a better footing for the 
future ; but the Directors were never free from anxiety as to 
what fresh trouble might be announced by each mail from the 
West Coast. 

During the course of the summer Mrs. Macaulay paid visits 
with her child to the Miss Mores and to her own family. She 
had received early in the year a curious formal letter from her 
father, presenting a silver spoon for pap to his 'dear grand- 
son, the pledge of her happy union.' Particulars are also asked 
for about the cowpox ; and Mrs. Macaulay is questioned as to 
whether she is rationally convinced that the inoculation will 
secure little Tommy from infection from the smallpox, as the 
writer has more fear than hope. Macaulay went down during 
his wife's absence for ten days' sea-bathing to Ramsgate, where 
the Babingtons were staying, and where the fleet was a subject 
of great interest. On the 14th of August he writes that they 
have in view in the Downs Admiral Nelson and all his flotilla, 
and are purposing the next day to take a boat and sail round 


London, August i, 1801. 
I wrote to you yesterday giving you all the news I could 
think of. Lancaster^ has this moment called. He tells me the 
rich Quaker will be willing to subscribe for the boys. 

1 M&caulay was in constant communication at this period with Lancaster upon his 
plan ibr national education. 


On the 28th, for the first time I made my appearance at 
Lloyds, so that you see I have fairly entered on my new course. 
I pray that it may be with God's blessing, I think it very 
possible to labour diligently for a temporal provision without 
losing sight of those durable riches which we are commanded 
first to ;5eek ; that I may be able to do so is an object of some 
solicitude with me, and yet I do fear that as riches increase, it 
is no easy matter to avoid setting the heart upon them. It is, 
however, premature to consider my present ddbut as placing 
me on the road to wealth. It constitutes me, however, in some 
sort a candidate for it, which I was not before, and therefore 
exposes me in a measure to the evils of such a state. 

You will easily conceive that I do not find Birchin Lane, 
however tranquil it may be, a very lively scene at present If 
wives were prudent they would occasionally condemn their 
husbands to a temporary separation. Husbands would then 
come to know to what they owed their enjoyment, and in what 
degree the dulness of the scene was enlivened by the kind 
attention of the wife, and the noisy prattle of the lisping boy. 
I have the satisfaction, however, of thinking that both you and 
Tom are likely to benefit by your absence. 

Along with this I send you some tracts which you will recog- 
nise, having seen them in manuscript. 

A letter from Babington informs me that they have taken 
lodgings at Ramsgate on a chalk cliff called Prospect Row, 
seventy feet above a fine clear sea, with a view of Calais and of 
the Downs. It is quite out of the town, and has the pier and 
shipping just below it. The easiest way of going to them is by 
water, and one is carried down there in half a day without any 

Adieu, my love. I shall think about writing to James, but I 
feel some doubts about it unless an occasion were to arise 
naturally. Of all things people's stomachs bear to be crammed 
with religion least. Injudiciously proposed, it is apt to shut 
the heart against one more than anything else ; witness Alex- 
ander, whose confidence I have never since regained. I shall, 
however, be on the watch. It is right, doubtless, to sow one's 
seed however the enemy may devour it ; but yet by writing a 
letter to one in James's circumstances you do a thing, not 
wrong in itself, but which serves little purpose but to have it 
said you have written a very fine letter. 

I commend you and Tom to God's holy care. 

Ratnsgaie^ August 11^ \^\, 
I wrote to you, to say I had got hither, on the 8th, but it is 
possible that this may reach you quite as soon. I was twent>*- 


six hours in coming down to Margate. There were about a 
hundred passengers on board the hoy ; and as on the second 
day the wind blew pretty fresh, sickness was the order of the 
day.^ I found our friends well and delightfully situated, with 
a commanding view of the Downs and the men-of-war stationed 
there, and of the whole of the entrance into the Thames through 
which all the trade of London passes. The pier, which is 
immediately below the windows, is a noble object. The coast 
of France in front of the house appears very distinctly, and 
with a good glass the houses might be discerned. The bathing- 
ground is as good as I ever saw. I had a plunge this morning 
about five o'clock, and feel very well after it. I mean to go in 
every morning while I stay, in order that I may lose none of 
my time. The Babingtons think me mended in appearance 
since we met in town, and I am certainly better. I wish you 
were here. You would enjoy I am sure very much the whole 
scene, and I think also you would like the party. I assure you 
your absence causes a great chasm in it. 

It has been my lot hitherto to afford a trial both to your 
patience and affection, not only by my frequent indisposition, 
but by the effect thereby produced on my spirits and temper. 
This is a trial I would gladly spare you, and not the less 
because experience has afforded me so many solid proofs of 
your tenderness, forbearance and love ; and I make it a part of 
tny daily prayers that everything in me which tends to dis- 
compose the tranquillity of your mind or to mar in ever so 
minute a degree your happiness may be removed. 

This Bethel, this House of God which dear Babington 
always raises wherever he pitches his tent, is the same scene of 
spiritual improvement and enjoyment I have ever found it. In 
his breast that peace which is the effect of righteousness ever 
d^^ells. May my soul be with his. 


Bristol^ August 12, 1801. 

I received both your letters by the same post. I began to be 

B. little anxious, and to hope that after having safely crossed 

tlie seas so often before, you were not preserved to be lost 

between London and Ramsgate. I am very glad you are with 

* * Margate, August 1801. — We observed a hoy coming in so crowded that we really 
fea^edL many of the passengers must have tumbled out, or the vessel upset as they 
^ver^ getting out ; sometimes two hundred people in one. The pier was full of people 
IcK>lcin£ and laughing at the oddity of their disembarking,' — Diary of Mrs, Philip 


your good friends, and that their situation is so delightful, and 
that they find you improved in your appearance. I should 
much like to be one of your party, I assure you, though I look 
forward with much pleasure to a sight of our dear friends in 
improved health at the time you mention. I will take measures 
for being in London with my train on the 27th. 

We use many arts to keep you alive in your son's remem- 
brance, and everything he wants is Papa, but I fear you will 
have to make fresh court when you meet ; he becomes very 
knowing. He looks, I assure you, with some marks of anxiety 
to see if I am really angry, when I make him quiet. He tries 
to sing as loud as he can. 

We have not been able to get one single name for your poor 
Africans, nor do I expect many from any other quarter, if any. 
The Bristolians are famous for supporting large public charities, 
and they are now setting on foot a new one ; and for lai^e 
turtle dinners ; but alas for your Africans. Alas, poor African 
Education Society ! 

May God bless you all. I am with you in spirit now, and I 
trust we shall spend an eternity together. When shall I adorn 
the doctrine of God our Saviour as Mr. Babington does in all 
things 1 — Ever your affectionate Selina Macaulay. 

The moment was now fast approaching when Macaulay was 
to undertake a task of considerable magnitude, which he per- 
severed in carrying on for many years, and which was of a 
nature to engross his thoughts and to fill up the short intervals 
of leisure which his other occupations might have otherwise left 
to him. 

The original idea, which took shape ultimately in the Christian 
Observer, appears to have sprung from the brain of Mr. Wilbcr- 
force, and as far back as the summer of 1798 he was much 
occupied with a plan for setting up a religious periodical 
publication, for which his ambition did not extend beyond the 
hope that its pages might contain a moderate degree of political 
and common intelligence. He was constantly in consultation 
about the project with Babington and Henry Thornton, and 
they also discussed the matter in all its bearings with other 
friends. At one time they were disposed to adopt the sugges- 
tion of Dr. Pearson, afterwards Dean of Salisbury, that the 
appointment or removal of an Editor should be vested in a 
Committee composed of clergymen half from town parishes 
and half from country parishes, but although Mr. Wilber- 


force was eager for this arrangement, fortunately for the 
peace of mind and independence of the Editor it was put 

It must be remembered that at this period there was a con- 
stant and increasing pressure upon the leaders of the Evan- 
gelical party to induce them to start a Magazine which should 
be suitable for reading in families professing strict views upon 
religion, and which should contain matter to interest the 
younger members of the household, and instruct and direct 
their views upon public, social and literary matters. Almost 
the only periodicals in existence at that time which could in 
any degree be held to satisfy these requirements were the 
Monthly Review, the Critical Review^ and the British Critic \ 
but to each of these publications there were insurmountable 
objections from the point of view of heads of families, who, 
feeling their responsibilities, desired spiritual and mental food 
for those dependent upon them, but desired it in an evangelical 
form and strictly in accordance with the tenets of the Church 
of England. The Monthly Review was Whig in politics and 
Nonconformist in theology, being managed by Mr. Griffiths, 
who was at the same time its editor and publisher ; while the 
Critical Review and British Critic^ which were conducted by 
dignitaries of the Church of England, although pronounced by 
Henry Thornton and Macaulay to be very respectable publica- 
tions, were so decidedly High Church that the Evangelical 
leaders could obtain no opening in them for their special views, 
and at the same time were so dull and heavy that they in no 
way met the aspirations of their followers. 

The many difficulties in the way caused the plan to be a 
long" time in maturing. Towards the close of the year 1799 
Macaulay was incessantly engaged in discussions about the 
Magazine with Thornton, Venn, and Pearson ; and as their 
ideas came into shape they decided upon drawing up and 
circulating a Prospectus that should prepare the minds of the 
public for the appearance of the work, and began to negotiate 
vj^ith. Mr. Hatchard, with whom they were all on very friendly 
terms, with regard to its shape and publication. In writing 
about it at this time they dwell upon the point that their main 
object was to get the work into circulation among the ordinary 
:lass of Church of England clergy. The Prospectus that was 


put forth was composed chiefly by Mr. Venn, and embodies 
somewhat quaintly the views of the promoters. 

' A monthly Publication, conducted upon the true principles 
of the Established Church, has been long desired by many of 
her members. In concurrence with these wishes the Christian 
Observer is undertaken ; in which it is intended so to combine 
information upon general subjects with religious instruction as 
to furnish such an interesting view of Religion, Literature, and 
Politics, free from the contamination of false principles, as a 
Clergyman may without scruple recommend to his Parishioners, 
and a Christian safely introduce into his Family.* 

At length the enterprise was started, and the first number 
appeared in January 1802. The same year saw in October the 
birth of the Edinburgh Review^ which was destined to exercise 
a hostile influence. The Committee appointed to direct the 
Christian Observer were Wilberforce, Thornton, John Venn, 
Macaulay, and some others of the friends, but after the first 
two or three months their superintendence ceased altogether, 
and by common consent Macaulay became sole Editor. The 
whole of the work and responsibility devolved upon hira, 
although the other members of the Committee were ready 
enough with criticisms and suggestions which were never 
brought forward until after the papers commented on had 
appeared in print, and it was no longer possible to alter them. 

The title prefixed to the new Magazine was The Christian 
Observer^ conducted by members of the Established Church, The 
plan was chiefly based upon religious lines, but there was also 
a great proportion of information of a general character given 
in correspondence or in articles. The contents were systemati- 
cally arranged in divisions; the first of which was entitled, 
* Religious Communications,' and was intended to be an * Intro- 
ductory Article connecting the History of the Church of 
England with the lives of its supporters and founders/ and 
gave a series of lives of the Apostles, and Fathers, and of 
eminent Reformers and Divines. Among the biographies which 
appeared under this head during the few years immediately 
following the commencement of the Christian Observer were 
very careful studies of the lives and writings of St. Ignatius, 
St. Polycarp, St. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clemens Romanus, 
Luther, and of the principal English reformers. Under the 


title of Religious Communications were also included abstracts 

of semions, and commentaries on Scripture, letters on serious 

subjects, and discussions upon disputed points of doctrine or 

conduct Under the one head of what were oddly enough 

termed ' Clerical Lucubrations ' as many as eighteen pages were 

repeatedly covered with closely printed matter. During the 

course of one year a sharp warfare was waged with the Dean 

of Peterborough ; ^ and the Dean was so deeply offended by 

the strictures passed on his book, The Articles of the Church 

of England not CalvinistiCy that he wrote with great violence, 

charging the Christian Observer with extreme scurrility, and 

with a design of overturning the Established Church and 

plunging the nation into anarchy and blood ; charges which 

appear comical when regarded in connection with the grave 

and self-controlled personage who was directing the Magazine. 

The second division is entitled * Miscellaneous,' and treats of 

every variety of subject from disquisitions upon maintaining 

the Proprieties of the Female Character to discussions upon 

Cruelty to Animals, and the lawfulness of Field Sports. There 

are letters from Country Squires and Curates about their 

Rectors, and from Rectors about their Squires and Curates ; 

treatises upon the duty of taking interest in Continental News ; 

observations upon quaintness in modes of style and thought ; 

and a series of sketches from the pen of Henry Thornton 

called * Modern Characters,' 

Next in order comes 'The Review of New Publications,' 
in which long and careful notices are given of all kinds of 
recently published works, but more especially of those upon 
religious subjects. The diocesan charges of the Bishops to 
their clergy meet with particularly minute attention, and when 
it is noted that the review of a book called Religion without 
Cant extends alone to twenty-five pages, it may be gathered 
that considerable weight was attached in the Evangelical 
circles to these notices, and that their appearance was awaited 
with a good deal of curiosity. 

The fourth division of the Magazine is styled * The Review 
of Reviews,' and in this the Editor promises that a watchful 
eye shall be kept over the chief periodical publications. He 
adds that he hopes nothing in them destructive of sound 

^ Dean Kipling. 


principles will escape due animadversion, and that it is his 
purpose to vindicate Christianity and its friends from the mis- 
conceptions and misrepresentations to which these works some- 
times give birth or currency. This section became very soon 
chiefly engrossed with criticisms of its celebrated contemporary 
the Edinburgh Review. In the first notice of it which appears 
in January 1803, the Editor seems a little doubtful what view 
he should take of the new publication ; but his hesitation did 
not last long, he soon plunged into the fray, and his tnihipet 
certainly gave forth no uncertain sound. 

The fifth section is extremely interesting and full of varied 
information, and supplies Literary and Philosophical Intelli- 
gence from the whole of the civilised globe. An account of aW 
descriptions of experiments by the great scientists of foreign 
countries is given every month, and the progress of discovery 
closely followed. The * List of New Publications/ which com- 
pletes this portion of the Magazine, is also unusually rich for 
that period in foreign information. Macaulay was, as has been 
seen, passionately fond of literature, and although his mode of 
life allowed him little leisure for the indulgence of his taste 
for reading, still his interest in books was so keen that the 
lists which he supplies are excellent, and his intimate acquaint- 
ance with the French language, and correspondence with 
Frenchmen of distinction, enabled him to furnish unusually 
full and good catalogues of foreign publications to his readers. 

The ordinary 'Religious Intelligence' which followed was 
chiefly devoted to Missionary news; but special interest 
centres in the next division, the *View of Public AflTairs,' 
which is really admirable, and in a short space gives a lucid 
and vivid description of the state of affairs in every part of the 
world, the place of honour being reserved for France and the 
actions of Bonaparte. This section winds up with Great 
Britain; and the monthly account of Parliamentary Proceed- 
ings during the Session of Parliament must have been valued 
on account of the exceptional facilities which the Editor en- 
joyed for correct knowledge of what passed in both Houses, 

An Obituary succeeded, with long and careful accounts of 
every one with claims of any kind for notice who had died 
during the month, and finally the Magazine closes with a 
diverting list of Answers to Correspondents, who seem to 


have been more eccentric, if that is possible, than it is their 
customary privilege to be. 

This summary will serve to prove that the editorship of the 
Christian Observer would, under any circumstances, have been 
no sinecure ; but besides fulfilling to the utmost point all the 
customary duties of arrangement and censorship for the 
monthly appearance of the Magazine, Macaulay's own personal 
contributions to its contents were very large and constant. 
Many of the sermons published in it were his own composition, 
and in those days were highly approved of, and furnished the 
substance of the discourses which were read from the pulpits 
of no insignificant number of churches. But besides the ser- 
mons, many of the articles were from his own pen, and nothing 
passed into the periodical without the ordeal of a rigorous 
scrutiny from him. 

The correspondence which the editorship devolved upon him 
became a grievous burden ; for even the ordinary business 
which an editorial position entails is a heavy tax upon a man's 
strength and energies, but the difficulty may be conceived when 
his duties necessarily included continual controversies about ^ 
minute shades of doctrine. He was constantly endeavouring 
to hold the balance even between the supporters of the Maga- 
zine, often between close personal friends of his own, who might 
be respectively inclined to Calvinism on the one hand, or 
Arnninianism on the other. Thomas Scott, the author of the 
celebrated Commentary on the Bible^ a man of really noble char- 
acter, of an integrity so lofty that, although a very poor man, no 
temptation of interest or advantage could induce him to overcome 
the scruples of conscience which held him back? from accepting 
preferment, had for a moment been thought of for the editorship of 
the Christian Observer. But although Scott was, to use Mr. Wil- 
berforce's simile, a diamond of the first water, he was rough, and 
at his already advanced age not susceptible of polish. Never- 
theless he was a steady contributor to the Magazine, and his 
letters to Macaulay, consisting of closely written sheets, the 
Denmanship of which is exquisite in its distinctness and 
lelicacy, are a curious picture of his mind. 

^fter many severe remonstrances upon the way in which 
be articles he had supplied had been altered and dealt with, 
^j-^ Scott writes a long disquisition on the dangerous confusion 


which in his opinion was made between the doctrines of re- 
generation and justification in a paper by Dr. Pearson which 
had been admitted into the Magazine, and then proceeds to say. 

* I am not a little surprised that the Editors of the Christian 
Observer should suppose they take a middle way as to the 
disputed doctrines of Calvinism. The Sublapsarian indeed 
takes a middle way between the Supralapsarian and the 
Arminian, but between the Sublapsarian and the Anninian 
there is no middle way, and therefore I do not wonder that 
the Christian Observer has not found it. I venture to inform 
you of what perhaps you are not aware, that every sober evan- 
gelical Arminian will be satisfied with the Christian Obserotr 
on this point, but that no Calvinist, who understands the con- 
troversy, however sober and moderate, will be satisfied.' 

Nowithstanding, however, much criticism of this description, 
it is remarkable to observe the respect shown by Mr. Scott 
for Macaulay's own opinion, and the anxiety with which he 
awaits the Editor's decision upon disputed points of doctrine, 
for the examination of which Macaulay's education had cer- 
tainly in no way prepared him, and upon which Mr. Scott 
might very reasonably have regarded his own authority as far 

At the end of the first year Macaulay wrote a Preface, with 
the intention that it should be prefixed when the monthly 
magazines were bound up * together to form the volume for 
1802. In this he says : — 

* When the publication of this work was first undertaken, we 
declared ourselves to be firmly attached, both as loyal citizens, 
and sincere members of the Church of England, to the con- 
stitution of this kingdom, ecclesiastical and civil. In con- 
formity with these pretensions, we have been forward to defend 
the doctrines and discipline of the Establishment, and have 
uniformly opposed the language and the designs of the dis- 
affected and factious. 

*But although decided in our opinions, we did not feel 
authorised to treat all who differed from us with severity^ 
much less with contempt We conceived that a spirit of for- 
bearance and Christian charity was perfectly consistent with 
the strictest orthodoxy, and we indulged a sanguine hope that 
Christians in general would concur in this sentiment. Our 


expectations, however, have, in this respect, been considerably 

* Some of our correspondents have complained of our mani- 
festing too great mildness and conciliation towards Dissenters 
and Separatists, interpreting a language without bitterness 
into blamable partiality, and misconstruing our reluctance to 
irritate and give needless offence into want of zeal or defect 
of courage. On the other side, some Dissenters have charged 
us with being bigoted, persecuting Churchmen, and have not 
only treated us as adversaries of the Dissenting interest, but 
as the enemies of Christianity itself. 

' We have no interests to serve but those of true Christianity, 
no schemes to prosecute but those of making our fellow- 
creatures good subjects and good Christians, teaching them to 
fear God and honour the King.' 

But notwithstanding all the laborious efforts of the Editor 
to make his paper lively reading, Hannah More writes of it in 
1804, 'It is certainly a valuable miscellany; but it wants a 
iittle essential salt, a little sprinkling of manners as well as 
principles.' * The truth is,' confesses Wilberforce, * it is heavy, 
and if it be not enlivened it will sink.' This despairing predic- 
tion, however, was not fulfilled. The Christian Observer oht^in^A 
a large circulation, and was destined to prosper for many years 
to come ; and at the very time that these criticisms were 
penned a large proportion of its readers took a diametrically 
opposite view of the spirit of its contents, and the Editor was 
harassed with complaints of the levity with which, in the 
opinion of his correspondents, serious subjects were constantly 
trea^ted in its pages, and was blamed by them for not exclud- 
ing' many papers which they characterised as too frivolous and 
trifling for perusal in well-conducted families. 




The nineteenth century opened unpropitiously to the hopes of 
the advocates of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and there 
was no expectation in any quarter of the success which was to 
crown their efforts before a few years should have elapsed. 
The minds of men were too full of the rapid changes of affairs 
upon the Continent which threatened the safety of our own 
island, to permit more than the most reluctant attention to be 
wrung from them for questions other than those of providing 
defence for our own shores, or means of attack upon our 
enemies. In Parliament everything was against the Aboli- 
tionists. Early in the Session of i8oi, Pitt, upon whom they 
looked as the great bulwark of their cause, resigned office rather 
than abandon his noble scheme for uniting Ireland with Eng- 
land, while at the same time he proposed that the Roman 
Catholic laity should be relieved from civil disabilities, and thai 
a public maintenance should be granted to the Roman Catholic 

Notwithstanding the change of leadership, it was believed at 
first that all would go smoothly, and that Pitt would have 
sufficient influence with the new Administration to prevent any 
retrograde steps being taken with reference to the Slave Trade. 
But the temper of the House of Commons was indifferent if not 
actually hostile,^ and the new Premier, Addington, was jealou5 

' Part of a letter from Lord Nelson to Mr. Simon Taylor, a Jamaica planter, Tai\ 
be quoted in order to show the violence of the feeling existing against the Aboli- 
tionists at this period : * Victory^ June 10, 1805.— I ever have been and shall be a firm 
friend to our present colonial system. I was bred in the good old school, aind tangti! 
to appreciate the value of our West Indian possessions, and neither in the Beld cir 
the Senate shall their just rights be infringed whilst I have an arm to fight in their de- 
fence or a tongue to launch my voice against the damnable, cruel doctrine of Wilber- 
force and his hypocritical allies, and I hope my berth in heaven will be as exaltcr! 
as his who would certainly cause the murder of all our friends and fellow -snhjects ir. 
the Colonies.' 


of Pitt's interference, and became gradually cold and reluctant 
in his support of the Abolitionist members of Parliament At 
length, during the course of 1802 they were electrified, if that 
word can be properly applied to any proceeding emanating 
from Addington, by hearing that the Minister had consented 
that Trinidad and St. Vincent should be settled with slaves 
newly imported for the purpose, a proposition which had been 
for years steadily resisted by Pitt, and the danger of which the 
friends had fondly hoped was at an end. When the alarm was 
once given, every agency was put in motion to endeavour to 
avert the catastrophe ; but the utmost that the earnest pressure 
of Pitt, supported by every Abolitionist member of Parliament, 
could obtain, was a promise, given very unwillingly by Adding- 
ton, to pause till the next Session before opening Trinidad and 
St. Vincent for the reception of another million of Africans. 
The one consolatory advantage which cheered these dark days 
for Mr. Wilberforce was the ardent admiration which he was 
able to entertain for his beloved Pitt ; and it is really touching 
to see his exultation in the spectacle afforded by the great 
statesman's magnanimity and patriotism, and by the superiority 
of his devotion over that of other politicians to the cause of the 
oppressed blacks. 

Parliament was dissolved on the 29th of June 1802, and the 
friends of Abolition were immediately actively engaged all over 
England in propounding their views to the electors. Wilber- 
force was chosen without a contest for the West Riding of 
Yorkshire. Henry Thornton had a sharp fight in Southwark, 
but was returned safely, with Tierney as a colleague. When 
the Houses met in November, the interest of public affairs on 
the Continent was too absorbing to permit members to pay any 
regard to other business, and it was with deep discouragement 
that the Abolitionists viewed their progress during the next 
Session, and the hopelessness of bringing forward any measures 
for the relief of their unhappy clients. The rupture with 
France in the month of May 1803 threw the whole nation into 
a ferment, and when Bonaparte formed his camp at Boulogne 
the danger of invasion roused a passionate burst of warlike 
enthusiasm throughout the length and breadth of the land. 
^■ o one could participate more keenly in the excitement than 
VTa.caulay himself, who was with many of his companions 


enrolled as a Volunteer, and his correspondence at this time 
contains constant allusions to military preparations. But even 
under these circumstances the friends never for a moment lost 
sight of the principles which guided their conduct, and their 
steady opposition to drilling on Sundays, after much ridicule 
and difficulty, proved in the end effectual in stopping it 

A strong impression of the closeness with which the danger 
of invasion was brought home to men's minds at that period, 
and the terrible reality of the fear, may be gathered from the 
alarm which Wilberforce expresses upon hearing that Pitt, as 
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, had taken the command of 
three thousand Volunteers ; because he says he knows that 
* Pitt's spirit will lead him to be foremost in the battle.' Busy 
as Macaulay and his friends were, they never hesitated to sacri- 
fice their time and interests to the call of patriotic duty ; and 
during these years, gloomy with rumours of danger and 
threatened war, Macfaulay and Henry Thornton were among 
the most active in seconding the exertions of Lord Teignmouth, 
who had come forward to undertake the Lieutenancy of Surrey, 
which was no sinecure at this critical time. His son ^ relates 
how he remembers Macaulay marching at the head of a com- 
pany of the Clapham Volunteers, his austere features over- 
shadowed by the bearskin cover of his helmet, whilst Charles* 
and Robert Grant appeared as extemporised dragoons. 

The three years which had now elapsed had been barren 
of any fruit for the cause of the slaves ; but in 1804 
Pitt returned to office, and immediately a measure for the 
Abolition of the Slave Trade was brought forward in the House 
of Commons. It was at once plain to discerning eyes that the 
temper of the times was changed, and that hopes of ultimate 
victory might now be reasonably entertained. The Irish mem- 
bers, whom the Abolitionists had taken pains to win over and to 
inform upon the question, assembled upon the evening of the 
First Reading at a great dinner, where they drank toasts to tHe 
success of the Bill, and then came up in a body and voted for 
it. The division was 124 to 49. As soon as it was over, the 
whole of the Abolitionist party adjourned to Mr. Wilberforce's 
house in Old Palace Yard to rejoice over the triumph and to 

^ Recollections of Many Years : Lord Teignmouth. 
' Afterwards Lord Glenelg. 


exchange congratulations ; and then remained on for great 
part of the night in discussion as to the further conduct of the 

It required the most unceasing vigilance upon«the part of the 
promoters of the Bill to frustrate the varied modes of attack 
upon it, instigated in a great measure by the West Indian pro- 
prietors; but notwithstanding the powerful forces arrayed 
against it, the Bill was got through Committee, and finally, on 
the 27th of June, the Third Reading was passed triumphantly, 
assisted by the warm support of Pitt. 

This speedy success made the disappointment all the more 
severe when Lord Grenville, Porteous, Bishop of London, and 
Pitt, all strong advocates of the measure, pronounced unhesi- 
tatingly their opinion that it would be unwise to risk it in the 
Upper House at that late stage of the Session, when there was 
no time for the hearing of evidence, without which the Peers 
would not come to a vote. The Abolitionists therefore agreed, 
though with reluctance, to postpone the introduction of their 
Bill into the House of Lords until the following year ; but in- 
spired with new hopes, they wisely determined to employ the 
interval to the best advantage. All available resources were 
made use of, and every device tried for obtaining information 
that could be turned to account as evidence ; while no time was 
lost in fully laying the facts of the case before the public. 
Lord Muncaster, who had already done good service to the 
cause, Mr. Stephen and Clarkson were kept hard at work in 
writing and publishing pamphlets, while Mr. Brougham went to 
Holland with the view of procuring information about the 
Maroons of Guiana, and the grounds upon which the Dutch 
Government still clung to their Slave Trade. He travelled as 
an American in order to escape the notice of the French autho- 
rities, but incurred some personal risk during the prosecution of 
his enquiries, and was on one occasion quartered in the same 
house with several French generals. 

* >Vhen Mr. Wilberforce retired from the leadership of the anti-slavery party many 
years later, he impressed upon his successor * the importance of keeping this great 
csttisc in possession of its old honourable distinction of being one in which all party 
cliflfercnces were extinguished, Pitt and Fox iighting in the same rank * ; and referred 
M'-irli fond regret to the debates of this period, saying that there were no speakers 
left so powerful as Pitt and Fox were. Canning he considered a more hnished 
ora.tor, but less impressive. ' He was as different as possible from Pitt, and from old 
yox too, though he was so rough ; he had not that art ce/are artetn,' 


The next Session, however, of 1806 brought a cruel check to 
the high expectations of the friends of Abolition, and on the 
Second Reading in the House of Commons their measure was 
defeated by seven votes, the Irish members having upon this 
occasion either voted against them or stayed away. Their 
astonishment and mortification were equally great ; but as all 
possibility of exertion in one direction was closed to them for 
the time, and the Houses of Parliament were engrossed with the 
impeachment of Lord Melville, they occupied themselves suc- 
cessfully in endeavouring to limit the Foreign Slave Trade; and 
two Meetings in favour of Abolition were held at Lansdowne 
House under the auspices of Lord Henry Petty, who was, at 
the age of twenty-five, just commencing that distinguished 
career which continued for nearly fifty years. 

The political horizon was dark and threatening. The year 
1806 opened with the ominous tidings of the triumph of 
Bonaparte's armies and of the fall of our allies ; and before 
the month of January was over, Pitt, whose enfeebled constitu- 
tion had never recovered the shock that he had sustained from 
the news of the capitulation of Ulm, had sunk under the fresh 
blow of the defeat at Austerlitz. * Killed by the enemy as much 
as Nelson,' said, with absolute truth, his friend Wilberforce, ' the 
love of his country burned in him with as ardent a flame as 
ever warmed the human bosom, and the accounts from the 
armies struck a death's blow within.' The Christian Observer 
had an obituary notice in its columns, in which the following 
characteristic passages occur : — 

* We feel a sensible satisfaction that the same philosophical 
death has not characterised the late Prime Minister of this 
country as was the case with the Duke of Bedford. Mr. Pitt, 
as well as Mr. Burke, in yielding up their departing spirits, 
appear to have professed the good old faith of their countr>'. 
Under what precise circumstances the expressions ascribed to 
Mr. Pitt may have been delivered, and whether some of them 
may have been spoken merely in the way of assent to questions 
put according to the forms of our Church in her Order for the 
Visitation of the Sick by the respectable prelate,^ once his 
tutor, who attended him, we are not particularly informed, ft 
is impossible for us not to feel a very deep regret that a regular 
attendance upon the duties of public worship did not constitute 

^ Tomline, Bishop of Lincoln. 


a part of the character of this illustrious politician. We mention 
this circumstance because we feel it to be our duty to qualify 
the accounts which we receive of the Christian end of dis- 
tinguished personages by some reference to the general course 
of their lives, which undoubtedly must be allowed to be the 
least fallible test of human character.' 


London^ December 26y 1865. 

Since I last had time to write to you I have had a long 
interview with Mr. Grant.^ The office into which he wishes 
to introduce me at the India Office is that to which all the 
examination of all Indian letters and papers and the preparing 
replies to them is referred. There would be advantages in the 
certainty of the position, and I would forego much of emolu- 
ment, consistently to my duty to my family, for the sake of 
an employment so suited to my habits and turn of mind as 
that at the India House ; and for the sake of being delivered 
from what I have always shrunk from, solicitude respecting 
pecuniary affairs, one of the grand evils in my opinion attending 
the being engaged in pursuits of a precarious nature. 

But Mr. Grant says my whole time would be claimed. To 
this there must be some limit, for if a man chooses to spend 
three or four hours less in sleeping and eating than other folk, 
those hours can hardly be claimed. Mr. Grant says so much 
also of the talents needed that I must have formed a very 
undue estimate of my own qualifications if I considered myself 
equal to it. 


January 21, 1806. 
The little nibbling in the first Christian Observer was not 
judiciously done for a friendly critic, who should point out 
specific faults, and not excite general suspicion and make vague 
charges, especially where they intend to serve the interest of a 
work. They have, however, made their amende honorable by 
the very able and spirited manner in which they have assailed 
the Edinburgh Review of Hints to a Princess} Of this for- 
midable Scotch attack I had heard much, but did not know 
the ground on which it was made till I saw it in the Christian 
Observer, For though I read evil report as well as good report 

» Charles Grant, Esq., M.P. for Inverness-shire, and Chairman in 1805 of the 
Court of Directors of the East India Company. His offer was not accepted by 

* Jlints to' a Princess ^ by Mrs. Hannah More, published in 1805. 


when it falls in my way, I do not know that I am in duty 
bound to give six shillings to my flagellator. I ought not to 
complain of their extreme unfairness and misrepresentations 
respecting me, when they treat prophets and apostles with 
still less ceremony. 

Although the preceding letter points to a personal acquaint- 
ance between Mr. Knox and Mrs, Hannah More, it appears 
that he was not introduced to the rest of the coterie until the 
summer of 1809, when Mr. John Bowdler brought him and the 
Rev. John Jebb, afterwards Bishop of Limerick, to Battersea 
Rise. They both soon became on cordial terms with their host 
and with Mr. Wilberforce and Macaulay, but they never formed 
part of the special circle, nor probably had they any desire to 
do so, as the views upon Church questions held by the two 
distinguished Irishmen differed materially from those of their 
new friends. Alexander Knox was remarkable for his un- 
common powers of conversation, and he has also left behind 
volumes of correspondence of the deepest interest to every one 
who loves to dwell upon subjects of religious and theological 
thought He had been Lord Castlereagh's private secretary, 
and had worked with him during the rebellion in Ireland of 
1798. Mr. Wilberforce says, * He is the very last man I 
should have conceived to have gravitated to Lord Castlereagh.* 
Macaulay invariably set a much higher value upon a life of 
active usefulness and benevolence than upon one of contem- 
plation and discussion, and this turn of mind influenced his 
intercourse with Knox and Jebb. On one occasion, after ex- 
periencing the futility of his attempts to incite them to make 
some special exertion, he writes: 'They could delight and 
charm a wider circle indeed by their literary taste and qualities, 
but I do not know that the narrowness of the sphere in which 
the amiable pair are moving makes, however, much difTer- 
ence with them on the question either of religious effort or 
religious effect.' 

John Bowdler himself stood in far closer relations with the 
band of allies. His singular charm of manner and pure and 
lofty character were combined with abilities which promised 
high achievement in the future, and with a profound devotion 
and severe self-discipline remarkable even among the sincerely 
religious men with whom he found himself associated. To the 


Editor of the Christian Observer he was the most invaluable 
of contributors, and scarcely any number appeared without a 
paper from his pen which enlivened its somewhat ponderous 
pages. His name recurs in almost every epistle that passed 
between Macaulay and his friends. He was loved and re- 
spected by them, and admitted into their very innermost 
sanctuary, with a tenderness of sentiment which they dis- 
played towards him as they might have done to a favourite 
child. And from various allusions which recur from time to 
time it is probable that they hoped hereafter, when their 
generation should have passed away, that their work would 
be carried on by * the young, the much-loved and the much- 
lamented John Bowdler.'^ 


London^ February 13, 1806. 
I am very glad that you like what was said of poor Pitt in 
the Christian Observer. I feared that it would appear to be 
cold and guarded to many of his warm admirers, while Dis- 
senters and oppositionists would be crying out against it as 
prostituting praise in order to exalt an unworthy object. I am 
greatly concerned to find that the account given of his last 
hours is more favourable to the existence of right religious 
feelings in his bosom than the ascertained facts of the case 
on a more accurate investigation will warrant. I understand 
that the Bishop of Lincoln laments his having been unable to 
fix his thoughts on the awful scene which was so shortly to 
open upon him. I feel strongly with you the blank which his 
departure has caused. God grant that the recent indications 
of the divine displeasure which have appeared in this and other 
events may produce their proper impression on the public, and 
particularly on the minds of the Clergy. I should be very glad 
if it suited you to attempt an improvement of them to these 
imf>ortant purposes. 

I wish I could find some one to relieve me of the Editor- 
ship of the Christian Observer, On one side it is attacked as 
Calvinistic, while even our ally Scott stigmatises it as Arminian. 
TYkG Dissenters make a violent clamour against it as being 
High-church, while the High-church party abuse it as favour- 
able to Methodists. The sale, however, is prospering. 

^ * Assays in Ecclesiastical Biography ^ by the Right Hon. Sir James Stephen, 


We have the unspeakable comfort of seeing our children 
rising up with healthful bodies and teachable minds. 

The great proportion of the members of the new Ministry 
which was formed after the death of Pitt under the presidency 
of Lord Grenville, were favourable to the Abolition of the 
Slave Trade ; and after much discussion it was agreed that 
Lord Grenville should introduce into the House of Lords, as a 
preliminary step to the general measure, a Bill for the Prohibi- 
tion of the Foreign Slave Trade, and that the Attorney- 
General, Perceval, who had long been a warm friend of Aboli- 
tion, should do the same in the Commons. Perceval is de- 
scribed by one who saw him in the House about this period 
' with his short and slight frame instinct with spirit, and his 
countenance beaming with animation ' ; while the same observer 
says that Lord Grenville looked the personification of gravit)', 
and that his oratory was statesmanlike, powerful and classical. 
The Bill passed triumphantly through both Houses ; but in the 
opinion of Lord Grenville and Fox the Session was too busy 
and too far advanced to admit of the general measure being 
brought forward, especially as they were unable to make it a 
ministerial question, two of the principal members of the 
cabinet being vehemently hostile to it. However, Lord Henry 
Petty, who had not been deterred from accepting office by 
Fox's advice to him that it would be better to earn his bread 
in any other way than by becoming Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, threw all his influence into the scale in favour of 
Abolition ; and it was finally decided that Resolutions declaring 
the Slave Trade to be contrary to the principles of justice, 
humanity and sound policy, and that the House would proceed 
with all practical expedition to abolish it, should be proposed 
in both Houses of Parliament by leading Ministers. The 
debate came on upon the loth of April, when the Resolutions 
were carried by an overwhelming majority, and were followed 
in the Commons by an Address to the King, moved by Mr. 
Wilberforce, praying that His Majesty would use his influence 
to obtain the co-operation of Foreign Powers, which passed 
immediately without a division. 

The cause of Abolition was now practically secure ; but the 
advocates had learned too well their lesson from bitter experi- 
ence to venture upon relaxing in any degree their watchfulness. 


They continued to assemble as before at Mr. Wilberforce's 
house in Old Palace Yard during each week, and at Battersea 
Rise or Broomfield^ on Sundays, and worked without inter- 
mission in preparing the evidence to bring before the House 
of Lords, so as to leave no point unguarded that might by any 
possibility be attacked. 

They might indeed congratulate themselves upon their pre- 
cautions when, late in October, the bombshell of an unexpected 
dissolution of Parliament fell into their ranks, and sent all the 
members among them flying as fast as horses could take them 
to their several constituencies. But they had nothing to fear. 
Public opinion had at last been aroused, and the sympathy of 
the country was with them. Perhaps the most striking instance 
of the change of feeling was evinced by the victory of the 
Abolition cause at Liverpool, one of the strongholds of the 
Slave Trade, where the well-known William Roscoe, who had 
had the courage to make a public declaration against slavery 
as far back as the year 1787, wrested the seat from General 
Tarleton, one of the leaders of the West Indian party in the 
Commons. The little boys at Mr. Greaves's school at Clapham, 
where Tom Macaulay was then one of the youngest pupils, 
took an intense interest in the elections of their fathers and 
their fathers' friends. They watched with delight Lord Teign- 
mouth's house on the Common * swarming like a beehive ' as 
the headquarters for Mr. Samuel Thornton's election for Surrey, 
or gazed in awe-struck admiration at the great family coach, 
dra^vn by four horses bedizened with ribbons, going forth to 
join Henry Thornton's procession on his return from South- 

The crisis was now fast approaching, and the fate of the 

Slave Trade was sealed. The entire change of feeling towards 

Abolition took even its most sanguine advocates by surprise, 

so that they could hardly trust in their good fortune, and 

watched with anxiety lest some reverse should lie in wait for 

them. But all went smoothly. The Bill was introduced first 

into the House of Lords, and the debate upon it, which began 

on the evening of the 3d of February 1807, lasted until five 

o'clock the next morning. A letter from Mr. Wilberforce says : 

* J^iyrd Sidmouth's speech consisted of a medley of ideas, one 

' Mr. Wilberforce's beautiful residence on Clapham Common. 


cribbed from every person with whom he had ever conversed 
on the subject.' The measure passed rapidly through the 
Lords, and on the loth of February came down to the 
Commons, where Lord Howick took charge of it for the 

The labour and tension of feeling among the workers for 
Abolition during the progress of the Bill through the two 
Houses appear to have been extreme. Mrs. Stephen had an 
accident and broke her leg, but * no one had time to attend to 
her,' writes an onlooker, who continues : * The Bill will not be 
lost for want of pains, for a large party have hired a house in 
Downing Street and meet every day; each has a list of 
members to whom he can have access for the purpose of 
recommending the subject, and prevailing on them to attend/ 
On the 23rd of February the First Reading was carried, the 
numbers being 283 to 16. 

The scene which took place was indeed an extraordinary' 
one, and is almost beyond description, for it was the result of a 
conjunction of a number of circumstances which never met 
perhaps except on that occasion. 

The stage on which the actors who took the leading parts in 
the performance stood was the grandest one within the reach 
of ambition, the House of Commons, and the attention of all 
those who were noblest and best in their country was riveted 
upon them. The work they had accomplished was one in 
which no particle of self-interest entered, but the pursuit of 
which had been dictated to them by the purest and highest 
motives, the fear of God and the love of their fellow-men. For 
it they had faced indifference, and ridicule and obloquy, and 
had sacrificed without a murmur health and worldly advan- 
tages, and had endured for many years unwearied and irksome 
toil, cheered only by association with their fellow-labourers, 
with whom their bonds of aflfection had become as close as 
those of brothers by blood. And beyond the satisfaction of 
fulfilling their duty and of bringing some alleviation to the 
sufferings of the most wretched and most degraded of the 
human race, no possible reward that could appeal to sentiments 
of ambition or desire of glory was offered them, no distinction 
in the future, and no real honour in the present, even from the 
men, outside their own peculiar circle, with whom their position 


in life led them to associate, and who, although compelled to 
acknowledge their disinterestedness, regarded them as a band 
of fanatics who could only harp upon one string. 

On this day, however, the triumph was unalloyed. The 
spontaneous expression of enthusiastic sympathy, as the whole 
House cheered Wilberforce in his hour of success, was an 
unprecedented tribute to the unpopular and thankless labours 
of which some of the members had been witnesses for many 
past sessions. Wilberforce himself was too much overpowered 
by the sensations of the moment to be aware of the honour 
done him, but when he reached his house and found there 
gathered together the beloved friends and fellow-workers who 
had shared his labours and disappointments, the happiness was 
indeed complete for the time. When the first rush of con- 
gratulation was over Mr. Wilberforce turned playfully to Henry 
Thornton and said exultingly, * What shall we abolish next?' 
The answer fell with characteristic seriousness from the lips of 
his graver friend : * The Lottery, I think ' ; and may have 
caused a momentary chill in the assemblage. 

But although the Abolitionists were now able to thank God 

fervently that the object of their lives seemed secured, yet the 

weeks which succeeded were weeks full of anxiety to them. 

They felt certain that the Bill would have to undergo some 

alterations in the Commons, and this they knew must expose it 

again to the fiery ordeal of the House of Lords. But, as was 

their custom, they profited by every circumstance, however 

minute, that could be made to assist, and it is amusing to find 

the austere legislators congratulating themselves on Sheridan 

being their staunch ally, * whether drunk or sober/ At length 

all the difficulties were at an end. On the 25th of March 1807 

the Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade received the 

Royal assent. 

The success was indeed in its suddenness and completeness 
a nnarvellous one. During the long years of the struggle 
Macaulay had been quietly but effectively working in the 
background to assist his friends to the utmost of his ability. 
He 'was always at hand while Parliament was sitting, and 
urould be found either in the gallery of the House of Commons 
or below the bar of the House of Lords, able to furnish facts or 
suggestions to the leaders of his party, and ready to produce 


any Blue-book or State-paper required for reference, or to 
point out some quotation apt to the subject immediately before 
them. * His memory was so retentive that without the trouble 
of reference he could collate the papers of one Session with 
those of three or four preceding years ; he analysed with such 
rapidity that he could reduce to ten or twenty pages all that 
was worth extracting from five hundred ; his acuteness was so 
great that no fallacy of argument escaped him, and no sophistn' 
could bewilder him ; and more than all, he was accuracy and 
truth itself. Every friend to slavery well knew Macaulay to be 
his most dangerous foe ! ' ^ 

He was to be found at the Sierra Leone Office during the 
daytime, attending to the business of the Colony, and also 
carrying on the enormous correspondence connected with 
Abolition. The minutest details were not beneath his notice if 
they contributed to the furthering of the cause to which his life 
was devoted. From letters written to him by his friends it is 
evident that constantly he personally superintended the packing 
and despatch of the innumerable publications which the Aboli- 
tionists distributed to the public, rather than run the risk that 
carelessness in addressing the covers might frustrate the objects 
they had in view. The greater portion of the pamphlets dis- 
tributed were from his own pen. He corresponded directly 
with many members of each Government, besides having con- 
tinual interviews with them. And through all this press of 
business he preserved the same calm and unruffled demeanour, 
and had attained to so absolute a control over his own mind 
that no interruption put him out. He was able to turn from an 
important discussion, if suddenly called upon to make some 
complicated plan dependent upon other people, and such a plan 
would be almost certain to prove successful on account of the 
quiet thought bestowed upon it, and the steady and clear 
directions given to the messenger. It was habitually said by 
his associates that no arrangement, for which Macaulay was 
responsible, went wrong. 

His domestic life was, as will be seen in the course of these 
pages, singularly peaceful and happy. When separated from 
his wife, as was frequently the case by the exigencies of the 
great cause to which he had devoted himself, no day elapsed 

^ Sir George Stephen, Anti-Sicsvery Ruollutiom, 


without his writing to her, and the correspondence testifies to 
the affectionate interest with which he perused the nursery 
anecdotes that her letters often contained. In September 1802 
he tells his wife that a friend whom he was visiting * had a boy 
two years and a half old, much taller and stouter than Tom, but 
who does not speak so plain. The circumstance which sur- 
prised me in him was his sitting quite still during prayers, 
whkh they say he has done from a year and a half. I appre- 
hend, however, that he is not quite so vivacious as Tom, though 
he seems a healthy, active boy.' 

In the month of February 1802 Mrs. Macaulay had given 
birth to a daughter, who was named Selina after her mother ; 
and it was soon afterwards that Macaulay resolved upon leav- 
ing London and settling altogether at Clapham. 

It will have been observed that Mrs. Macaulay was not of a 

sociable disposition. She was passionately fond of reading, 

and all through her life preferred remaining at home with an 

interesting book to joining a party of whatever agreeable and 

distinguished elements it might be composed. Her love of 

reading was inherited by her eldest son, but in his case it was 

tempered with a strong infusion of his father's taste for social 

intercourse. It was the custom of the circle into which Mrs. 

Macaulay was introduced upon her marriage to seek for no 

privacy beyond that of its small innermost coterie, but to 

consider every member of that coterie as forming part of a large 

united family, who should behave to each other with the same 

simplicity and absence of formality which, in the usual way, 

characterises intercourse among only the nearest relatives. 

They were in the habit of either assembling at the same water- 

ing^'places, during what may be ironically termed their holidays, 

or else of spending them at each other's country-houses, taking 

with them as a matter of course their wives and children ; and 

it may be remarked that they seem to have ventured upon 

inviting any one they pleased to their friends' houses, and to 

have felt assured that persons, acceptable to themselves, would 

meet with a cordial reception from their host and hostess and 

the entire band of allies. 

Then, when the holidays were over, Henry Thornton, 
Thomas Babington, Macaulay, Mr. Stephen, Mr. Grant, and 
one Of two more assembled together as frequently as possible 


in London for the meals of breakfast and dinner. These men, 
who followed their own callings with an assiduity which made 
the world reckon them in that aspect alone as busy men, were 
thus able to discuss their plans for the conduct of the Abolition 
campaigns without retrenching the time due to their several 
professions, and their debates were often prolonged far into 
the night. They were not only occupied by the welfare of the 
unhappy slaves, but by all kinds of charitable and benevolent 
schemes, upon which occasions additional advisers such as 
Isaac Milner, the Dean of Carlisle, Mr. Venn, the Rector of 
Clapham, Mr. Simeon, and Lord Teignmouth, were summoned 
to their councils ; and many of the religious Societies which 
flourish at the present day owe their origin to these conclaves. 
The weight of continual business was lightened and cheered by 
sharing it with congenial companions ; and the habits of life, 
thus systematically arranged, served to ensure considerable 
economy of time and correspondence in days when there were 
no district messengers, and no telegraph or telephone at the 
service of busy people. 

Then as the end of the week came round, the friends gathered 
habitually at the beautiful villas round Clapham Common for 
the hallowed repose of Sunday ; and on those occasions the 
intimate circle was increased by the addition of a constant 
succession of companions, who supplied varied interests from 
the worlds of theology, literature, art, science and politics, and 
in some degree served to relieve the tension of minds strained 
to the utmost in a single direction. 

To Macaulay individually, the rest and refreshment of such 
intercourse was very great, and his pleasure in it was enhanced 
by thus finding himself able to share in the services of Clapham 
Church, in which he delighted, and in the opportunities he had 
of engaging the sympathies of an outside class in the cause 
which he had at heart, so as even sometimes to enlist fresh 
helpers of considerable consequence. 

Into this society he brought his wife upon their union ; and 
he had enjoyed looking forward to the pleasure which he had 
felt convinced she must derive from participating in its privi- 
leges. At first she regularly accompanied her husband on 
Saturdays to Battersea Rise and Broomfield, but she appears 
to have soon begun to make her health an excuse for remaining 


at home, and although she was always an affectionate and 
devoted wife, there is no sign of her ever having taken any 
particular interest in her husband's public work. 

On the other hand, Mrs. Macaulay had the extraordinary 
merit of thoroughly grasping the situation, and of understand- 
ing that the whole object and aim of his existence would be 
spoiled, and even ruined, if he were persuaded to alter the 
habits of his life, and to absent himself from the society of his 
friends. As far as can be traced, she never made the slightest 
objection to his leaving her to fulfil his engagements, or showed 
any jealousy or wounded feeling,- although she always put 
all other claims upon her time aside so as to profit by every 
moment which he had leisure to spend with her; and when 
they were parted she wrote to him every day, consulting him 
very fully about the children and the details of their domestic 
life, and entering also most confidentially and intimately upon 
religious subjects, as well as upon ordinary topics of books and 

There can be no doubt that the discovery of his wife's in- 
clination for solitude was a great disappointment to Macaulay, 
who had anticipated with delight sharing with her all the 
aspects of his life, whether public or private, intellectual or 
social. His correspondence shows that during many a weary 
hour on the West Coast of Africa he had pleased his fancy by 
picturing her reception among his friends, and seeing her take 
her honoured place in the sacred coterie. But the course of 
this narrative will have demonstrated that he was not only 
singularly observant of the tastes and wishes of the persons 
with whom he associated, but that also, as far as was consistent 
With his view of duty, he was accustomed to shape his course 
so as to give them free play and the independence to which 
they had a right. 

He, however, felt the greatest reluctance to leaving his wife, 
as he found himself now obliged to do, so constantly alone ; 
and after much consultation with her he came to the con- 
clusion that the wisest course to adopt would be to take up 
their own residence at Claph^m. This plan would keep him 
within easy reach of his office and of his associates, and yet 
enable him to be oftener at home. Mrs. Macaulay also valued 
for her little ones the advantages of pure air and country walks, 


which at that time, and for many years afterwards, the situation 
and neighbourhood of Clapham Common were able to afford. 
About the end of 1803 they were settled in a roomy, comfort- 
able dwelling on the south side of the Common, in a part 
known as the Pavement. The whole place has been entirely 
changed during the last quarter of a century, and the shops 
thrown out in every direction make it difficult to identify the 
features of the house, which has been divided into two or three 
separate habitations. But when Lord Macaulay revisited the 
old home in the company of his sisters about fifty years ago, the 
few alterations that had been made did not affect its general 
character, and he took the deepest interest in going through 
the principal rooms, and in recalling how the furniture had 
been formerly placed. 

Among the circumstances which, in the opinion of Macaulay, 
made a residence at Clapham desirable was the advantage 
which appeared to him would accrue to his children from being 
educated with the children of his friends, and from having the 
opportunity of forming and continuing in the next generation 
those intimate relations which constituted so Urge a part of the 
happiness of his own existence. It is pleasant to recollect that 
his hopes were entirely fulfilled, and that his children found 
great enjoyment in the companionship of the youthful Wilber- 
forces, Thorntons and Grants, and the younger members of 
several other families who lived near ; and formed friendships 
which grew with their growth, and ripened in later years into 
close intimacies. 

It was a relief to Macaulay to be able to feel that for the 
present he had provided in the best way in his power for the 
comfort of his wife and children, as his life was becoming daily 
increasingly laborious. He met the demands upon him, as 
usual, without complaint and methodically. He rose habitually 
at four in the morning, winter and summer alike, so as to get 
through his literary work without hurry, and without encroach* 
ing upon the time allotted to the performance of other dutie5. 
Even when detained, as was often the case, till late the previous 
night at the Houses of Parliament, or in consultation with his 
friends, he scarcely permitted himself any latitude. His strong 
constitution bore the strain wonderfully well, and the calmness 
of manner and quiet judgment which distinguished him were 


an unfailing support to the more excitable and nervous spirits 
among his associates. 

During the course of the next few years a second daughter 
Jane, and two sons John and Henry, were added to his family. 
Mrs. Macaulay was accustomed to pay every summer and 
autumn long visits with her children to Rothley Temple, and 
to Barley Wood, a charming spot in Somersetshire, where 
the Miss Mores had built a comfortable mansion not far from 
their former residence, which with its grounds commanded 
beautiful views over the surrounding country. Macaulay 
generally contrived to join his wife for a week or fortnight 
during her stay in the country. After one of his visits to 
Barley Wood, Hannah More writes to him : — 

'Maugre all the reasoning of Lucas backed by your own 
rhetoric, I maintain there is no such thing as perfection. Else 
would you have left behind you a great bundle of letters, a 
pocket-handkerchief, and Sale's Devotion} Will it be any 
gratification to you to know that you are extremely missed ? 
I transferred the last night's reading • to Isaiah, because we 
would not, by going on with the Romans, be made to feel how 
much we wanted our Commentator. I have had in my morning 
task of transcription fresh pleasure in going over again the 
animated chapter you left with me.' 

The children became great favourites with their kind old 
hostesses, especially the two eldest ; and for the sensibility of 
little Tom's feelings and his cleverness, the good ladies were dis- 
posed to show an admiration which his parents were anxious 
to keep in check. It was indeed the praiseworthy fashion of 
those individuals who were characterised as the Saints or the 
Clapham Sect, to take a very real and keen interest in the 
risings generation, and to make themselves acquainted with 
the dispositions and tastes of each other's children. It is 
curious to find Henry Thornton, who had the reputation of 
great coldness of feeling, constantly mentioning little Tom in 
his letters to others, as well as to the child's father. Macaulay 
was a careful and anxious parent, and engrossed as he was in 
business, he always found leisure to make proper and necessary 
arrangements for his little ones. He was ably seconded by 
their mother, who found alike her happiness and her duty in 
the sphere of home, and who scarcely ever quitted it except 


for the expeditions already mentioned, and as the children 
grew older, for regular visits also to the seaside. 


June 4, 1807. 

I send you some Abolition puffs which I think may be 
useful, and some of which perhaps the newspapers will take 
without payment But pray take care to have them copied in 
different hands, and sent by unknown messengers. I think if 
they were dropped in the boxes of newspapers they might be 
inserted, or if published in the Tinus the rest would copy them. 

It may be of great importance to push the provisional sub- 
scription without delay. I was sorry to see your name for so 
large an additional subscription, but hope that this fund may 
not be wanted. 


London^ June 24, 1807. 

I wrote you yesterday with a pencil a very hurried note 
which I managed at last to get a pen to direct. I was just in 
time to throw it into the Post-office at Clapham. Thornton 
and Wilberforce are strongly of opinion that you should come 
and judge for yourself in the great combat which is about to 
take place, and that so equally poised seem the two parties in 
the State, that your vote may be big with most important con- 
sequences. An idea begins to get abroad that the Ministry 
will not be strong enough to withstand their opponents. It is 
well for those who live below, and still better for those who 
live above these jarrings of party. 

I got on in the CornwaUis ^ with not the best company in the 
world. One of my party was a felon who was on the way to 
Botany Bay, the music of whose manacles and chains and 
bolts was not of the most lulling kind. I could not reach the 
City till after the hours of business had ended. I drove to 
Edgware Road,* and then it was too late to write thence of my 
arrival. The next day I found quite a variety of matters 
waiting me, among the rest two messages from the Duke of 
Gloucester, and was under the necessity of running about to so 
many places, among the rest to his Royal Highness's and then 

' The stage-coach. 

- Edgware Road House was occupied for a short time by Mr. Babington, wh^'sc 
town residence was afterwards for many years in Downing Street. 


to Mr. Wilberforce's at Broomfield, that the utmost I could 
effect was the hurried note I sent you. 

Many thanks to my sister for her letter of to-day. My love 
to her and all your party, not forgetting my own dear little 


London^ July ^\^T, 
You cannot think what a dissipated afternoon Babington 
and I spent together yesterday. We dined at Wilberforce's at 
Palace Yard, and at six we sallied forth in quest of pleasure. 
We were first attracted by Maillardet's mechanical exhibition, 
where we paid our respects to the conjurer, Tom's friend, and 
admired his gravity, decision and wisdom. After puzzling 
ourselves for an hour to discover the principle on which the 
conjurer delivered his responses, without success, we turned to 
the little boy, who drew us a very pretty ship, and wrote us a 
copy of verses in a beautiful hand. The musical lady then 
played us a few tunes on her harpsichord, and the rope-dancer 
curveted for our amusement for some time. The most sur- 
prising effort, however, of mechanical .genius that we had the 
opportunity of seeing was a little bird which rose out of a snuff- 
box, and after singing a very pretty tune, disappeared. 

Having satiated our curiosity at this place, we next went to 

see the gas lights, which are a late invention by which it is 

profKJsed to produce immense savings in the article of candles. 

The light is produced by the contact of what is called hydrogen 

g^as with common air, which immediately produces a bright 

flame. The gas is emitted from tubes which communicate 

with the reservoir where the gas is produced by a certain 

process ; and in this way, by means of those pipes, something 

on the plan of what you saw at Mr. Dawes's little house, may 

all the rooms of a house be brilliantly illuminated at once, and 

at any hour of the night. You have only to turn a cock, and 

immediately a stream of light flows into the apartment. The 

flame emits no spark whatever, so that there is no danger of 

fire from it. 

Having seen this wonder, we proceeded to the Society of 
Academics, where we heard Bowdler make an eloquent speech 
of an hour and a half long in favour of the present, and against 
the late Administration. Robert and Charles Grant were also 
to speak; but a quarter to twelve came, and Babington and I 
thought that it became married men like us to go home at that 
hour, and not to spend the whole night in hearing speeches. 


The state of things on the Continent seems to have excited 
some emotions of fear in our Ministers, and they are looking to 
the means of repelling invasion with some anxiety. The Volun- 
teers are to be called out forthwith on permanent duty. Our 
corps will probably set out for some distant part of Surrey 
some time next week or the week after. How long they may 
continue I know not, not less than six or eight weeks. 


Barley Wood^July 8, 1807. 

Mrs. Hannah More is a good deal hurt with the review of 
Seattle,* which I thought in manuscript a little severe. She 
knew him well, and thinks very highly of his piety. She 
thought that the Christian Observer had not enough taken it 
into consideration that in a familiar letter it was not necessary 
that a man should always tell his creed and his opinion on 
certain subjects. She has not the least guess whose the review 
is, and asked me if it was Thornton's or Wilberforce's. She 
fights manfully for your Christian Observer. The others will 
never forgive the review of her book,* which they think has 
injured the sale of it. 

Tom has ingratiated himself with Miss Betty by his fondness 
for making bread and pastry with his sleeves tucked up and a 
white apron ; and she says who would think that he knew so 
much about Virgil; and with Miss Hannah by his literary 
taste and knowledge. They admire his temper and disposition, 
and his duty to his mother above all. For my part I am sur- 
prised at his judgment, for he knows them as well and sees 
their characters as if he were thirty years old. 

God grant our new house may prove, as you say, a house of 
piety and prayer. I assure you that it is my most sincere 
desire and prayer to be enabled to second all your pious wishes 
for the dear children, but it is absolutely impossible to give my 
attention to Tom, as I wish, at present. I must learn from this 
<o stay at home with my children. 

So far from thinking that I have the sole merit of Tom's 
acquirements, I know that, under Providence, almost the whole 
is to be imputed to your attention and firmness. The Miss 
Mores were uncommonly guarded before him, and Miss Patty 
reproved a lady very warmly for using some expressions before 
him. I hope Tom will do his exercise ; he seems a long time 
at it. 

* James Beattie, author of The Minstrel ' We all love Beattie/ said Dr. Johnson 
to Boswell. ' Mrs. Thrale says if ever she had another husband she '11 have Beattie.* 
' ffin/s to a Princess, by Mrs. H. More. Sec p. 263. 



Virgo absque modestia est equa furiosa absque fraeno. Advo- 
catus egit causam meam indice illo. Ivi cum fratre in agros 
ibique verberavi eum baculo. 

My dear Papa/ — I am sorry that my writing did not please 
you. I hope that I shall improve in it. All Mama's commands 
are readily and cheerfully obeyed. The Miss Mores gave me 
a guinea, a bank-note. — I remain, your dutiful son, 

Thomas Macaulay. 


London^ July lo, 1807. 

Your letter dated from Barley Wood on the 8th reached me 
this morning. It was quite right in you, my love, to send me 
Tom's letter, whether well or ill done ; for it will do him no 
harm amidst the accumulation of his honours to have a little 
blame addressed to him. I must confess myself not quite 
satisfied that he may not be a sufferer by the notice bestowed 
on him at Barley Wood. I really trust that the old ladies 
reserved their exclamations of wonder at least until Tom's 
back was turned. I assure you that the perusal of Beattie, and 
the lamentable manner in which praise seems to have corrupted 
him and to have led him to make the world his idol, have 
awakened my jealousy on this point. If the sober judgment of 
mature age be not proof against the influence of human 
applause, what can wc expect in a boy of seven years ? Let 
me entreat you to be on your guard in this particular, and 
seriously to discourage, by every possible means, everything 
both in the language and manner of those around you which 
may tend to exalt Tom in his own esteem. Remember he 
will not possess one whit less of cleverness because people do 
not tell him that he possesses it. I do not wonder you should 
feel gratified by the compliments paid to Tom. It is fit you 
should ; for yours is the sole merit of his acquirements. But do 
not let the mother's tenderness and the mother's gratification 
operate to his disadvantage. Indeed I hope you will be firm 
in laying down your rules and abiding by them. 

In every other respect your account is doubtless very good ; 
and we ought to be thankful that it has pleased God to give us 
such a soil to work upon. May we be enabled to cultivate it 
in such a manner that it may bear fruit to God's glory I 

* This letter, written in a large round hand, is inclosed with the exercise, which is 
very carefully copied out by the child. 


I do not know what to say about going to the Mores if they 
continue disposed to rail about the Christian Observer, I feel 
no inclination to a discussion on such a topic with such ladies. 
It gives, I assure you, my expedition a somewhat new and not 
so inviting an aspect, and has induced me to cast about in my 
mind how it may be best avoided, I should have no enjoy- 
ment from my visit to them. 

I think Mrs. Hannah a little unreasonable about Beattie. 
How may one form a judgment of him but from his liffe as 
given us by his biographer? It would not do, as she must see, 
to take her private opinion of the man. He must be judged by 
what appears related of him, by the pen of partial friendship 
too, in his life. The book will be much read. Its contents 
will be referred to as an authority on many points. Would it 
be right, under those circumstances, to overlook in it what may 
be false and erroneous in sentiment, and mischievous in 
example ? 

The importance which I attach to Tom's exercises is not on 
account of the knowledge they give him, but on account of 
their use in keeping up his knowledge — and more than all to 
accustom him to the regular returns of something like business. 
God bless you, my love, and have you in His holy keeping. 1 
commend you and all our children to Him and His grace. 


Barley IVood^ August 15, 1807. 

We are much flattered by your young gentleman's prefer- 
ence of Barley Wood, and I think we may be allowed to be a 
little vain upon so decided a preference. Pray assure him that 
whenever an opportunity offers, and he shall have the full per- 
mission of his papa and mamma, we shall be very glad to see 
him again at Barley Wood, for a much longer time ; but as the 
amusements of this place are so inimical to Latin and Greek, I 
am afraid this pleasure will be deferred. To be sure, here is 
now a vast field open for his new profession — apples and plums 
by hundreds and hundreds, which are almost daily put into 
puddings and pies — such a field for a young practitioner. 

I cannot give a good account of our invalids. You have 
probably visited us all together for the last time.^ Ours has 
been a long reign, — entering the world, and acting for ourselves, 
at a very early period — quite girls — the eldest only twenty, we 
seem to have lived longer than others. That we may all be 
prepared, with our lamps trimmed to meet the Bridegroom, is 

* The first break in the circle at Barley Wood did not occur till 1813, when Mrs. 
Mary More, the eldest of the sisters, died in April. 


now my only wish. I was at Cheddar and Shipham last Sun- 
day — both flourishing. 


November 23, 1807. 
My friend Gilbert ^ is dead. Our affectionate attachment of 
fifteen years' continuance was never interrupted by the diversity 
of sentiment between us. He told me that the Christian 
Observer had not altered his views on the subject of religion, 
but had led him to regard with perfect indifference those 
peculiarities of the Calvinistic system of which he was disposed 
before to make much account. 

Immediately upon the passing of the Act for the Abolition 
of the Slave Trade an association was formed under the title of 
the African Institution with the object of promoting the civilisa- 
tion of Africa, The Duke of Gloucester, the nephew and son- 
in-law of the King, and a life-long opponent of slavery, 
accepted the position of President, and was an assiduous 
attendant upon the Board and at the sub-committees. The 
list of Directors included not only all the well-known names of 
the promoters of Abolition, but a large number of peers and 
men of eminence, among whom may be noted Lord GrenviUe, 
Perceval, Canning, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and several 
of the Bishops. But although many of these were frequently 
present at the committees, the real burden of the work fell upon 
Macaulay, who was appointed Honorary Secretary of the 
Society by an unanimous vote. His labours were lightened by 
the vigorous co-operation of Mr. Stephen ; and in the hands of 
these friends, the only two men upon the long list of supporters 
who were personally acquainted with the sinister aspect which 
slavery bore in the Colonies, the African Institution practically 
became an anti-slavery society. The improvement of Africa 
was subordinated to the urgent necessity of suppressing the 
illicit Home Slave Trade and the Foreign Slave Trade, and its 
chief business soon consisted in keeping a vigilant watch upon 
the working of the Acts of 1806 and 1807. 

About this period Mr. Stephen accepted a seat in the House 
of Cominons, which was offered to him for the second time by 

1 It will be remembered that Macaulay went out to the West Coast of Africa in 
1793 with the Rev. N. Gilbert. 


Perceval: and the great measure of policy which originated 
with Mr. Stephen, the Orders in Council, made his name justly 
famous, and contributed during the next few years to under- 
mine the power of Napoleon in almost an equal degree with the 
force of our arms. 

During the course of the year 1808 Sierra Leone was trans- 
ferred to the Crown. This change affected Macaulay's position, 
as his Secretaryship terminated of course with the management 
of the Colony by the Board of Directors, although, as will be 
seen from the correspondence which follows, he was constantly 
occupied during the first few years after the transfer tn assist- 
ing the Government in their arrangements with the Colonists. 
He now decided to commence business upon his own account 
His efforts were warmly seconded by his friends, and he rapidly 
attained a considerable position as a shipowner and merchant, 
his transactions with the East Indies and Africa being specially 

Macaulay's soldier-brother Colin* returned home in bad 
health in the month of October 18 10. He was eight years the 
senior of Zachary, and was almost a stranger to his family, as 
he had gone out to India in his boyhood as a cadet. He bad 
been present at Seringapatam, and had shared the imprison- 
ment of Sir David Baird by Hyder Ali. It is interesting to 
observe that his mind resembled his brother's in showing a 
strong natural inclination to subjects of religious thought and 
inquiry ; and this characteristic was given special prominence 
in 1805 when the Rev. Dr. Kerr, the senior chaplain of the 
Madras Presidency, a clergyman held in high esteem, was 
despatched by the Indian Government to Malabar and Travan- 
core on a Mission to investigate the state of the Syrian and 
other native Christians. 

Dr. Kerr found on his arrival at Travancore that the Political 
Resident, a military officer who had left Scotland at the age of 
sixteen, had made himself master of every shade of doctrine 
professed by the various native Christians, and that he was 
upon terms of friendship with the Metropolitan of the Syrian 
Christians, and constantly visited him and the principal priests. 
and received them as guests at his own house. Colonel 
Macaulay assured Dr. Kerr that the statement, generally 

^ Colonel, afterwards General, Macaulay. 


credited, that those among the Syrian Christians who were 
not Roman Catholics were Nestorians, and worshipped the 
Blessed Virgin, was utterly groundless ; and that the Metro- 
politan, Mar Dionysius, a man of great piety and respectability, 
had communicated to him the Creed of his Church, which dis- 
claimed the errors of Arius and Nestorius by name. The 
Syrians felt such entire confidence in Colonel Macaulay^s 
good-will towards them that their Bishop had intrusted to him 
the portions of the New Testament as they were translated 
into Malayalim, and had left him to arrange entirely for their 
being printed. 

In writing to the Governor of Madras, Lord William Ben- 
tinck, Dr. Kerr reports that he had found the direct protection 
of the British Government had already been extended to the 
Syrians through the British Resident, Colonel Macaulay, who 
had constantly exerted his influence with the Rajahs of Travan- 
core and Cochin to defend the old Syrian Christians, and also 
the Syrians of the Romish Church, against the oppression of 
the Rajahs' officers, and particularly of the Dewan of Travan- 
core. It was this Chief who afterwards fomented the war 
against the East India Company in 1808 which terminated in 
the humiliation of the Travancore power. Dr. Kerr passes a 
high eulogium on the Colonel, and says that he has rescued 
from an unmerited stigma a body of Christians whose con- 
stancy in the profession of a pure faith through so many ages 
was worthy of .admiration. 

Colin had become an unusually attractive and accomplished 
person, and Macaulay felt not a little satisfaction at being able 
to introduce his distinguished relative into a new circle of 
society, which proved extremely congenial to him. He was 
warmly welcomed by his brother's friends. A short time after 
his arrival, Mr. Wilberforce, in writing to him, expresses the 
hope that Colonel Macaulay will consider himself free of his 
house at all times and hours, and Hannah More, in a letter to 
Lady Olivia Sparrow, says : — 

• Our last very interesting guest was Colonel Macaulay. He 
s SL first-rate man, and one who, on account of his vast oriental 
itera.ture, sound principles, general knowledge, and local in- 
br mat ion. Dr. Buchanan has pronounced to be the only man 
/ho is capable of prosecuting important religious investiga- 


tions in the East. He does not seem unwilling to lend himself 
to this great object, but the plague in the Levant has hitherto 
prevented him, and he also has had a letter from Lord Welling- 
ton earnestly desiring him to join him in the Peninsula. He 
was Lord Wellington's aide-de-camp in India ; his life has 
been most extraordinary ; I am persuading him to write it 
Four years captive in one of Tippoo's dungeons, or with another 
officer, a prisoner like himself, chained to his back.^ He is a 
man of the gentlest manners, and has brought home, after all 
his hairbreadth escapes, an ample fortune and a sober mind.' 

It may well be imagined how great an addition was made 
to the happiness of Macaulay's life by the presence of such a 
brother, who was capable of entering into his public interests 
with intelligent sympathy, and who soon attached himself 
affectionately to Zachary's family, and to the Babingtons and 
their children. Colonel Macaulay's experience made him a 
hero in the eyes of his nephews and nieces at a period when 
tidings from the Continent and the fear of French invasion at 
home caused military interests to form part of the national life 
of England. 

A general election had taken place soon after the Bill for 
the Abolition of the Slave Trade had passed the two Houses, 
and a new Parliament assembled on the 22nd of June 1807. 
The Abolitionist members were strictly conscientious in the 
discharge of their Parliamentary functions ; and the line, inde- 
pendent of any political party, which the greater number of 
them considered it their duty to adopt, necessitated close and 
constant attendance to enable them to weigh the arguments 
brought forward upon both sides, and to make up their minds 
individually upon each point. 

An unfortunate mistake for a short time threatened to 
embitter the friendly relations between Macaulay in his capa- 
city of Editor of the Christian Observer^ and the sisterhood 
at Barley Wood. Early in 1809 Mrs. H. More had taken 
the perilous step of publishing anonymously a religious 
novel, without admitting even her most intimate friends into 
the secret of the authorship. A notice of the book, Cadehs in 

* The story is well known of the exclamation said to have been made by ihf 
mother of Sir David Baird upon first hearing of the nature of her son's capti%-fT. 
*God help the puir chiel wha 's chained to my Davie.* Sir David Baird., a. tdc^' 
gallant officer, was generally credited with a quick temper. 


Search of a Wife} appeared in the February number of the 
Christian Observer^ and was so laudatory of a great part of the 
work as to have satisfied in many respects the demands of the 
most exacting vanity. But unhappily the Reviewer mistook, 
or pretended to mistake, the sex of the writer, and also made 
some observations which wounded Mrs. H. More's susceptible 
delicacy, although any intentional criticism of the kind was 
publicly and strenuously denied, and an ample apology offered 
in the March number, after the work had been acknowledged 
by its author. The obnoxious passage occurred in the analysis 
of the character of the heroine, and ran as follows : 

* Lucilla blushes and cries on every occasion, and sometimes 
when we really think the matter is not very moving ; though 
if she had blushed deeply at one of the questions proposed to 
her by Coelebs, we could have forgiven it' * 

But the real sting of the article lay in the fact that the 
Reviewer felt, what every one who reads the book is bound to 
feel, an unmitigated detestation and contempt for the character 
of the hero, and he winds up his reference to Ccelebs by saying : 

•To speak honestly, after many efforts and much self- 
reproach, we still find it difficult to be quite reconciled to this 
youth. Lucilla perhaps will improve him.* 


Barley Wood^ March 7, 1809. 

My dear Sir, — I thank you for your obliging letter. I agree 
with you that Cadell has indeed managed most sadly. The 
third edition, I hope, will be out in a few days, and a fourth is 
immediately to go to press. The third, I fear, is only fifteen 
hundred. They plead want of paper or would have doubled 
the number. Allow me to say that if the whoU public were 
readers of the Christian Observer, a very few copies indeed 
would suffice. My own impression, after reading the review 
you were so good as to send me, is, that if I were a stranger 
and had bespoke a copy of Coelebs, I should instantly send 

1 ' Coelebs variously talked of. The Menry Thorntons affirm that it cannot be 
IlaniuLh Mere's, and are strong against it, surely without reason.* — fVilberf (tree's 

9 The question was : * Whether an attachment towards an unworthy object could 
be subdued ? ' an odd question, no doubt, to put to a girl of eighteen. 


to forbid it, so very disagreeable an impression would the 
criticism on the whole leave on my mind. Faults enough there 
are in Coslebs^ and I expected, and should have thankfully 
received some grave reproof. Praise is bestowed perhaps too 
liberally on some parts, but all the praise lumped at the end 
can do but little good after a work has been made ridiculous. 
That sort of sneer I expect from a Scotch but not from a 
Christian critic ; and to close with a solemn prayer for the 
success of a work which has been described in many parts as 
ridiculous is not quite consistent. I could have been recon- 
ciled to allow what the author is so fond of insisting on, that 
Coelebs* himself is 'prosing,' 'drawling,' 'deficient in taste,' 
' low/ 'vain,' and even ' vulgar '; but that he is also 'indecent' 
would have inexpressibly shocked me had not Mr. H. Thornton 
made the same discovery before! I leave you to judge if 
every young lady, after this disgusting picture of the hero, 
will not be more than ever afraid of a ' religious ' young man. 
How far it was prudent for the interests of piety to stamp this 
character with such an odious impression, others must judge ; 
as well as how far it was feeling to hold me up to the religious 
world as writing indecently. The critic well knew the writer 
was a woman. I am sorry I did not put my name to the work 
to take away all such subterfuge. He knew / wrote it. After 
all, perhaps he is in the right. Three years' excruciating illness 
which has battered my body has probably injured my mind, 
and I shall take this review as an admonition to write no 

You will think perhaps that one who said so much on the 
vanity of 'human applause* should not write thus. But if 
reputation is a means of usefulness, it is not to be despised 
My moral sense is wounded. 

Dr. Woodward, who may be supposed to speak the senti* 
ments of the higher class of religious men, with his brother, 
the Bishop of Carlisle, at the head, said yesterday at our 
table that the evil of having cast such a slur on the religious 
young hero of the tale is incalculable. And it has been thought 
whether I ought not to write in the Christian Observer to the 
Reviewer to point out the indecent passage. I have searched 
closely, but cannot even guess at it. I do not wish my senti- 
ments to be kept secret. Remember me kindly to Mrs. Mac- 
aulay and to the little poet. — Believe me, dear sir, yours verj* 
sincerely, H. More. 

PS. — The epithet of ' steady ' sneeringly applied to Coelebs 
belongs to a good coachman or butler, but is meant to disgust 

' ' He is given to prosing, is not very delicate, and has a low suspidoasness abost 
him that is exceedingly unamiable.' 


in a young man of fashion. I am truly glad you approve the 

About this time Macaulay took his nephew, the eldest son of 
Mr. Babington, into partnership with him. The arrangements 
were made under the superintendence of Mr. Henry Thornton, 
who thought Macaulay inclined to be too generous as to the 
division of profits with his partner, and tried to exercise a 
salutary caution in the conditions made. 

On the 1st of January 1810, Mrs. Macaulay gave birth to a 
daughter to whom Mrs. Hannah More expressed a wish to 
stand godmother, and the child was accordingly baptized by the 
names of Hannah More* She married Sir Charles Trevelyan 
in 1834. 

About this period some libellous charges against Macaulay 
were brought forward by Thorpe, the Chief-Justice of Sierra 
Leone, and were so widely disseminated that it became neces- 
sary for Macaulay to vindicate his character. Accordingly 
he published his answers to the charges in a pamphlet com- 
posed with admirable coolness and temper. In a contemporary 
SLTtic\& in the British Review the following passage occurs : — 

' Mr. Macaulay appears to be singled out as an object for the 
fiercest malignity and most extravagant abuse. To throw 
discredit upon this distinguished friend of Abolition every 
artifice of fiction, misrepresentation, and direct and shameless 
attack is adopted without scruple or hesitation. Men who are 
thus hated must be feared.' 

Thorpe's animosity, however, was only further increased by 
the moderation of his opponent's reply, and shifting the ground, 
he availed himself later on of the constant opportunities which 
presented themselves of attacking Macaulay upon fresh points. 
In after years also many of the disproved charges which Thorpe 
had made were repeated in John Bull, 

The affairs of Sierra Leone were a fruitful source of disquiet 
duringr these years while the Colony was settling down under 
Imperial rule, and several of the principal officials there seem 
to have drifted continually into scrapes of a more or less serious 
kind, and to have amused themselves by inventing the most 
extraordinary and absolutely unfounded accusations against 
^{|. Da^ves and Mr. Ludlam, who had been commissioned to 


put matters into order for the Company. Mr. Ludlam had 
recently revisited England in the autumn of 1809, after seven 
years of continuous and strenuous work on the West Coast 
of Africa. Macaulay was much affected by the news of his 
death on the Gold Coast in July 18 10, and lamented his loss, 
both on public and private grounds, most sincerely. 


Barley Wood^ May 1810. 

My dear Sir, — I poke one h'ne into Tom's vile scrawl to 
say that he goes on in the usual Pindaric style ; much desultor)- 
reading, much sitting from bower to bower ; ^ Spenser, I think, 
is the favourite poet to-day. As his time is short, and health, 
I think, the chief object just now, I have not insisted on much 
systeni* He read in the sun yesterday and got a little head- 

Since * Childe Hugh,* a long poem on Hunt's election, really a 
good parody, has been shown us, I have discovered in the 
writing-box an Epithalamium of many folio pages on Mr. 
Spragge's marriage. I do compel him to read two or three 
scenes of Metastasio every day, and he seems to like it. 

His talents are very extraordinary and various, and his 
acquirements wonderful at his age. His temper is good, and 
his vivacity a great recommendation to me, but this excess of 
animal spirits makes some certain studies seem a little dry and 
dull. I will tell you honestly as a true friend, what indeed you 
know already and mentioned to me, that his superiority of 
talents makes competitors necessary for him, for that he is a 
little inclined to undervalue those who are not considerable or 
distinguished in some way or other. I have talked with him 
gently on the subject, telling him how valuable and worthy 
people may be who are neither brilliant in talent nor high in 
situation. He listened to me meekly, and I have not since 
heard anything of this disparaging sort. Do not tell him what 
I have said, as I would not put him on his guard, but encourage 
his open-heartedness. I wish his mother could come down to 
us. If we are all alive I hope she will accompany Tom on his 
next annual visit. — Yours very faithfully, H. MORE. 

* * The Temple of the Winds is in ruins ; and the root -house, which was calle*: 
** Tecta pauperis Evandri," has quite disappeared. That was my favourite haunt.'— 
Lif& and Letters of Lord Macaulay : Trevelyan. The present writer was taken ^) 
Lord Macaulay to visit Barley Wood, and remembers the regret he expressed o-* 
finding that some of the old summer-houses which he recollected had disappeared. 



Clapham^ May 29, 181 1. 
This will find you, I hope, comfortably settled at Clifton. 
How has Colin borne his journey ? I hope his extreme kind- 
ness in undertaking it has not cost him any very heavy sacrifice 
of ease and comfort. He will enjoy Mass^na's account of the 
battle of Fuente d'Honor. It sheds much more lustre on 
Wellington than his own did. You will have heard of a severe 
and sanguinary contest between Beresford and Soult in which 
the latter was foiled. 

I dined yesterday at Babington's, and afterwards came out 
with my sister, who went to drink tea at Battersea Rise. I had 
set myself comfortably down at home, at least as comfortably 
as a man could who had lost his wife, when Mr. Brown, a naval 
lieutenant, was announced, and he continued from half-past 
eight till near eleven, with a perseverance which I could not 
but admire while I was groaning under it And the man, after 
all, had nothing to say which was worth a walk of one mile, 
much less often. 

The children are all well. Mrs. Babington went up and saw 

them last night just going into bed. They seemed all very 

happy. John has been reading to me a little to-day, but he 

complains that you have left him no book, so that he is obliged 

to read the New Testament. There were sad complaints this 

morning about Henry and Fanny not doing what they were 

bid. Fanny assures me she will do what she is bid to-morrow. 

She. is a true worldling, — penitence and amendment are for 

to-morrow, not for to-day. Hannah is as well as can be, and 

2LS sweet as ever. 

Macaulay went down to Cambridge to attend the installation 
of the Duke of Gloucester as Chancellor of the University, a 
ceremony at which almost all the members of the African Insti- 
tution made a point of being present. 


Cambridge^ June 30, 1 8 11 . 
You shall hear my adventures, which were singular enough. 
I vt/GXtt off at four o'clock on Friday afternoon to the inn at 
Bishopsgate Street from which the coach set off, and after 
Mraittngr some time it made its appearance, but full, quite full. 
[Viy na.flne, however, had been regularly booked and the money 
Daid, 3tid I insisted on having a place. The coachman, guard, 



and clerks all began an enquiry which ended in discovering 
that a lady had got into the coach and placed herself bodkin, 
who had no right to be there. She was requested to come out, 
but refused. Entreaty was used in vain. *Who is she?* was 
echoed on all sides. 'She is,' said the guard, 'Mrs. Green, 
who keeps the oil-shop in Holborn, and who is going down to 
Cambridge to sell her oils and pickles.' Near an hour was 
employed in labouring to convince this lady that she ought to 
come out. It was all to no purpose, and the coach at last drove 
off, leaving me behind. I the more regretted this, because 
Professor Christian and Reginald Heber^ were both passengers 
in the same coach, and I had promised myself much enjoyment 
There would, however, have been a drawback. There would 
have been another woman still in the coach. Now you must 
know I have no particular objection to coming into contact 
with women nor with children either. But this woman had in 
her arms a child who did not once cease squalling during the 
whole of the dialogue with the oilman's wife, and this may have 
affected her nervous system and made her more pertinacious in 
her resistance. 

I told the people at the coach office that they must pay a 
post-chaise for me to Cambridge. They admitted they were 
bound to do so, but had none, and did not know where to find 
one. I went first to all the coaches. No other place could be 
had ; I sent a porter in quest of a post-chaise. He returned after 
an hour's search, and said none could be found. As I do not like 
giving a thing up in despair, I set off on the search myself, and 
about half-past seven at night I got into a post-chaise at the 
upper end of Aldersgate Street, and was off for Cambridge. 
With some difficulty, now talking loud and now coaxing, and 
now giving a douceur to the postboy, I got on to Buntingford, 
about thirty-one miles from London, about midnight The 
landlady of this place was very desirous to have me for a 
lodger, and used some ingenious devices to tempt me, but all in 
vain. I pleaded their assurance, before I had descended from 
the chaise, that they could send me on ; and after some delay 
and many renewed suggestions I at last escaped. I got to 
Royston, which is about thirteen miles from Cambridge, at two 
in the morning. I here thought it best to lie down for three 
hours, and finish the rest of my journey afterwards. At five, 
therefore, I was up and dressed, and calling for a post-chaise. 
None to be had, was the answer. Why, there are four now in 
the yard ! All bespoke. In short, no chaise could be got. I 
saw that the innkeeper wished to extract from me the oflfer of a 
larger sum, and this I did not think it right to do. Here then 
' Afterwards Bishop of Calcutta. 


I was likely to be kept prisoner at least for four hours. In a 
short time, however, a gentleman's carriage drove into the yard. 
He ordered fresh horses, and they were furnished. I went up 
to him at this moment ' Sir, such and such are my circum* 
stances. This is my name,' showing him the Duke of Glouces- 
ter's card ; * may I request the favour of a seat in your carriage 
to Cambridge ?' * Certainly, sir,' was the reply, * you are very wel- 
come.' The innkeeper was violently angry at this proceeding, 
and said we must pay him double. However, off we went. I 
found my companion a most intelligent man, who knew a great 
number of my friends intimately, and we passed two hours very 
pleasantly. I afterwards discovered that he was Mr. Scarlett ^ 
the barrister, and was introduced to him by William Smith. I 
got to Cambridge in good time, met with Colin, got into com- 
fortable rooms at Magdalen, breakfasted with Hodgson, and 
having made myself fine, went to the Senate House, into which 
I got after a smart push and squeeze, and saw the whole 
ceremony of the Installation. 


September ^^ 1811. 
I return you Crabbe's* letter with thanks, and trust you 
will have done him good. But I think the Editor of the 
Christian Observer might have been a little nearer to dulcified 
at last 


November 12, 181 1. 
Dear Tom, — I was much pleased with your letter and 
Selina's. I should not like you to be like General Campbell 
in India, who wrote a letter to your Uncle Colin on very im- 
portant business, but when it came your uncle could not read 
on^ single word of it. By way of reproof your uncle took a 
sheet of paper and scribbled it over so as to give it the appear- 
ance of writing, although nothing was meant to be written. 
So when the letter came to General Campbell he called all his 
aides-de-camp about him, and they set themselves to decipher 
the writing, but with very little effect. At last the General 
wrote back to say that he thought he must mean so and so, 
but that his aide-de-camp thought his meaning was different. 

* Afterwards Lord Abinger. 

2 OraLt»l>e published The Borough in 1810. * Some attacks upon the Hunting- 
onisLTts in this poem produced a controversy with the Editor of the Christian Obstroer^ 
/hxcb en<i«d amicably.' — Dictionary of National Biography, 


Then your uncle wrote to tell him the real state of the case, and 
the General was afterwards more careful to write legibly. 

Your cousins at the Vicarage are dressed in tartans, and 
remind me of Benledi's 'living side/^ I heard two days ago 
an anecdote of Bonaparte that will please you. When the 
Duchess of Gordon was at Paris in 1793, Bonaparte asked her 
what regiment her son, the Marquis of Huntly, commanded. 
She told him he commanded a Scotch regiment, the 92nd. 
His remark was, ' Les rlcossais sont les plus braves gens du 
monde/ This perhaps is one mark of a Scotchman that you 
have yet to acquire. Perhaps, however, the air of Benledi may 
work wonders, or the touch of Wallace s sword in the castle of 
Dumbarton, or the view of Bannockburn. 

Your Uncle Colin hopes you are all diligent in acquiring a 
facility of speaking French. He means to talk nothing else, 
morning, noon, or night, when he comes to Clapham.— Ever 
your affectionate father, Z. Macau LAY. 

Macaulay resigned the secretaryship of the African Institu- 
tion in 18 1 2, having been fortunate in securing a thoroughly 
competent successor. By this time the Association was well 
launched, and Macaulay was now able to serve its interests 
efficiently without in addition continuing to perform the more 
mechanical portion of a secretary's duties. His resignation 
gave his associates an opportunity of marking their appre- 
ciation of the value of the labour which he had devoted during 
five years to the formation of the Society, and a meeting was 
held at Freemasons* Hall,* which was largely attended by the 
friends of Abolition, and at which a service of plate and an 
Address were presented to Macaulay. 

'African Institution. March 25, 1812. — Resolved unat\\- 
mously that this meeting is bound to express the deep sense 
it entertains of the eminent services of their pro tempore secre- 
^tary, Z. Macaulay, who, combining great local knowledge and 
experience with the most ardent zeal, and the most assiduous 
and unwearied industry, has strenuously and gratuitously de- 
voted to the concerns of the African Institution his time and 
talents, and has thereby established his claim to the lasting 
gratitude of all who are interested for the civilisation and 
happiness of Africa.* 

^ * Along Benledi's living side.' — Lady of the Lake, Canto v. 

'^ Freemasons* Tavern. * Fine large hall, ranged with green benches like a lecticje- 
room ; raised platform at one end for the performers; arm-chairs for the Royal I>okes 
and common chairs for common men. May 1813.' — The Life and Letters ^ Jkiari* 
Edgewortht edited by Augustus J. C. Hare. 


Macaulay was deeply touched and gratified by the warmth 
of feeling exhibited upon this occasion, but such a frank and 
public recognition of his merits served also to call forth an 
outburst of violent hostility against him, and very shortly false- 
hoods of the most base and groundless nature were promulgated 
extensively with the view of blackening his character, and in 
the hopes of paralysing his usefulness. The supporters of 
Slavery had at length discovered that the grave and silent 
man who kept himself well in the background was the most 
dangerous among their opponents, and that it was he who 
supplied the sinews of war for the campaigns carried on by 
the more brilliant of their adversaries. All through the many 
years during which the Anti-slavery contest was prolonged 
Macaulay was the object of attacks, scurrilous and venomous 
to such a degree as to excite the indignation of the more 
generous-minded even among his enemies. But he bore the 
obloquy which his conduct had drawn upon him with patience 
and silence, although not with indifference, and did not waste 
in defending himself the precious time at his disposal, which 
he found already too short for the work to which he had con- 
secrated his life. The eloquent words in which he is described 
by Sir James Stephen may well be quoted here. 

* He drew on himself the poisoned shafts of calumny ; and 
while feeling their sting as generous spirits alone can feel it, 
never turned a single step aside from his path to propitiate or 
to crush the slanderers.' 

A fresh subject of interest began now to add to the labours 
of Macaulay's life. For some years past he and his friends had 
applied a large share of their thoughts to the discovery of the 
best means of preparing the way to open the British Empire in 
India for receiving instruction in the Christian religion. It 
viras a propitious circumstance that a principal member of their 
coterie was one of the most influential among the Directors of 
the East India Company. Mr. Grant had passed many years 
of his life in India in the pursuit of important civil and com- 
mercial business, and during the last portion of his career there 
fie had been entrusted with the superintendence of the whole of 
the Company's trade in Bengal. On returning to England in 
1790 he was placed on the Board of the East India Company, 


where his knowledge of the country, and his sagacity and 
prudence, secured for him great influence in the administra- 
tion of India. Indeed it was popularly supposed that during 
some considerable time Mr. Grant reigned supreme at Leaden- 
hall Street, and he was nicknamed the Director of the Court 
of Directors. 

Similarity of religious feeling and objects in life led him on 
coming home to fix his residence at Clapham Common, and 
Lord Teignmouth, with whom he had been much associated in 
Bengal, followed his example at the termination of his Governor- 
Generalship. It is interesting to emphasise the fact which is 
pointed out by a high authority,^ that in the conflict which 
ensued in Parliament, scarcely any can be found among 
those who were foremost in the warfare for the establishment 
of an Episcopal See in Calcutta, and for the removal of all 
restraints upon the diff'usion of Christianity in India, who were 
not either themselves members of the special band of allies dis- 
tinguished by the epithet of the Clapham Sect, or else very 
closely united in the bonds of friendship with them. 

The year 1812 was chiefly devoted by the friends to East 
Indian affairs, and almost daily consultations took place, ac- 
cording to their custom when planning a campaign. The work 
of preparing petitions was entrusted to Mr. Babington ; but he 
and Mr. Wilberforce and Henry Thornton all concur in bearing 
witness in their correspondence that the real agent upon whom 
the whole business depended was Macaulay. The points which 
it was their aim to assert were that an Episcopate should be 
established in Bengal, and that a recognition of the principle 
of introducing Christianity into our dominions in India should 
be made. Happily for their prospects of success they were 
aware that the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, was decidedly 
in favour of Missions, and was urging upon his recalcitrant 
colleagues compliance with the views of the Evangelical part>' 
upon the East Indian questions. 

The opportunity, for which laborious preparation had long 
been quietly and patiently carried on, arrived with the proposal 
for the renewal of the Charter of the East India Company, 
which came before Parliament early in the Session of 1813. 
Wilberforce himself was startled by the determined hostilit>* 

* Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography. 


shown by the House of Commons to any attempt to Christianise 
India. He and his friends soon perceived that their only 
chance of success lay in resorting to the same tactics which 
they had pursued in the struggle for the Abolition of the Slave 
Trade, and in bringing public opinion to bear upon the sub- 
ject. The Government was well disposed to them, and Lord 
Wellesley's influence would, they knew, be exerted in their 
favour, so that no difficulty was anticipated in the House of 
Lords ; but even Wilberforce, generally sanguine in his views, 
despaired of moving the Commons, who were possessed with 
exaggerated apprehensions of the effect of the proposed altera- 
tions upon our sovereignty in the East. 

The time was very short, but no effort was spared to utilise 
it. Mr. Grant, who in early life had formed a close friendship 
with David Swartz, the celebrated Danish missionary, had in 
consequence been always inclined to feel a tolerance for Missions, 
which it was unusual at that period to find among men of his 
standing in India. Since his return home he had endeavoured, 
as far as lay in his power, to further the religious and educa- 
tional plans of Dr. Claudius Buchanan, and had obtained 
appointments as Chaplains in the East for Henry Martyn 
and Thomason. He now laid before the House of Commons 
a paper which he had composed some years earlier, entitled 
• A Plea for the Toleration of Missionary and Educational 
Work in the East.' The ability and fairness of the statement 
made a profound impression upon the minds of many of the 
members, and it was printed by order of the House. 

Dr. Buchanan, whose influence may be said to have laid the 

foundation for the Ecclesiastical Establishment of our Indian 

Kmpire, was one of the young men the expense of whose 

education at Cambridge was defrayed by Henry Thornton, 

and whose views in religion were largely owing to Mr. Simeon's 

teaching. After serving a short apprenticeship as curate to 

John Newton, he had gone out to Calcutta as Chaplain to 

the East India Company. The apathy and indifference, and 

in many cases the open enmity, manifested almost universally 

at this period by Anglo-Indians towards spiritual subjects 

made a painful impression upon the mind of one who had come 

fresh from the circle of the Evangelical revival ; but Buchanan 

set himself steadily to fulfil the duties of his Chaplaincy, while 


he employed his leisure in studying the Hindustani and Persian 
languages, and in carefully instructing himself as to the nature 
of the difficulties with which all efforts for religious and educa- 
tional enlightenment must contend in the East. Before long he 
was greatly cheered by the powerful support of the Governor- 
General, Lord Wellesley, who appointed him Vice-Provost of 
the newly-founded College at Fort William. From this time 
Buchanan's talents seem to have been generally recognised; 
his Travels and Researches in Asia were published and had 
an extensive circulation, so that when he returned to England 
his reputation and influence were of great assistance to his 
former patrons in the struggle over the Charter of the East 
India Company. 

Their plans had been formed with consummate wisdom, and 
success crowned their exertions. On July 12, 181 3, Mr. Wilber- 
force writes: 'The East India Bill passed, and the Christian 
cause fought through without division to the last The peti- 
tions, of which a greater number than were ever known, have 
carried our question instrumentally, the good providence of 
God really.' 


Downing Street^ August 1 7, 1 8 1 2. 

Dear Sir, — I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of the 14th instant and its inclosure. 

I shall not fail to recommend the subject of them to the 
early and serious attention of my successor in this Department 
Lord Bathurst has, I believe, informed Mr. Wilberforce that 
Park and Isaac's Journal shall be delivered to any person 
authorised by the African Institution to receive them for the 
purpose of printing them and publishing them for the benefit 
of Mr. Park's family. 

Any attention which it has been my power to show to you 
during the period I have been in the situation which I am now 
about to leave, has been fully returned by the readiness which 
you have always proved to afford me all the assistance and 
information in your power on every point on which I have had 
occasion to consult you, and I beg to return you my best 
acknowledgment for it. — I am, dear sir, yours very faithfully, 

Robert Peel. 



Clapham^ April 5, 1813. 
My dear Tom, — ^Your correspondence with me and mine 
with you has seemed to flag during the last fortnight I must 
tell you what has been the cause on my part. First the meet- 
ing of the African Institution required large portions of my 
time. You will like to hear what passed at that meeting. On 
the minutes of the last year having been read and confirmed, 
and among them those which related to myself, I got up and 
told them that as I had no opportunity last year when the 
Resolutions were first passed of making my acknowledgments, 
I felt it my duty now to rise to express my sense of the honour 
that had been done me. I then went on to say that splendid 
as was their present, I had received a still richer reward in being 
permitted to participate in the counsels of the great names 
associated in this Society, in one of the noblest designs which 
the world has ever witnessed, delivering half a world from 
bondage and blood, and pouring upon it light, liberty, and 
civilisation. It would never cease to prove a grateful source of 
recollection that for twenty years I had enjoyed the friendship, 
and shared the cares and labours, the solicitudes, fears, hopes 
and final triumph of such men as Wilberforce, and Thornton, 
and Stephen, Babington, and Smith. 

No sooner was Africa disposed of than Asia called for our 
exertions ; and the very day after the meeting of the African 
Institution, I was obliged to take active measures for calling a 
meeting which should prevent the blessed light of Christianity 
from continuing to be shut out of Asia, as it has hitherto been. 
The necessity for prompt and vigorous measures arose from 
this, that the question of the future government of India had 
come before Parliament, and that there seemed to be some 
intention on the part of leading men in the House of Commons 
to smother the question of Christianising India. Accordingly 
a meeting was called, which was attended, although there were 
only three days to advertise it in, by about a thousand gentle- 
men. I send you the Resolutions that were come to, and the 
Petition that was adopted and signed. What follows the 
Petition is a paper, which I drew up for spreading correct 
information on the subject through the country, and for induc- 
ing all good men to unite in presenting similar petitions. 
About a hundred thousand of them will soon be circulated, and 
we expect petitions from all quarters. There is one signing at 
CJapham. We are not, I suppose, to expect one from Little 

' Little Shelford, near Cambridge, was the place where T. B. Macaulay was at 
school under the care of the Rev. Mr. Preston. 


The fatigue attending this business has made me ill, and this 
is the third day I have been kept at home. This illness is the 
third cause of my not having written to you. However, I am 
sitting up to-day, thank God, and likely, I hope, through His 
kindness, to be about again to-morrow. 

I was very glad to see your last letter to your Mamma, and 
to observe the determination you have made that if you fail in 
your examination, it shall not be for want of diligent applica- 
tion. Now, my dear Tom, this is perfectly right ; but then I 
wish to remind you that this diligence should be the result of a 
sense of duty rather than of a desire of distinction. You re- 
member what the Bible says of those who love the prais^ of men 
more than the praise of God. Now my wish and my prayer for 
you is that you may act with a view to the latter as your grand 
and governing aim. Our true wisdom is to do our very best 
because God would have us to do our best, and then abide the 
event in tranquillity. If conscious that we have done our best, 
that there has been no lack of diligence on our part ; then, even 
if we stand in the lowest place, we have no ground for self-dis- 
satisfaction or dejection. Much of the turbulence and disquiet of 
mind attending mere competition for honours would thus be 
avoided; and by preserving the mind calm and undisturbed, 
not only would greater progress be made in study, but when 
the hour of trial came there would be less solicitude, and there- 
fore a greater facility in producing what had been learned. 

But how is this happy temper of mind to be attained ? My 
dear Tom, it is to be obtained by earnest prayer to Him in 
whose hands are the hearts of all men, and who, if we ask 
wisdom of Him in faith, that is, believing in His power and 
willingness to bestow it, will most assuredly give us that 
wisdom. — Your affectionate father, Z. Macaulay. 


Barley Woody May 4, 1813. 
My dear Friend, — On the subject of Madame de Stael, 
perhaps I have most to tell. Her relations, our old acquaint- 
ances, the Hubers,^ who, we hope, are becoming religious 
characters, have just left us. Hannah used to meet the Neckcrs 
at Mr. Garrick's when this genius was a great girl. Notwith- 
standing the little, or rather large taint to which you allude, 
four hundred cards were left at her door on her arrival. She 
has been well dosed on the subject of my sister. She is getting 

^ M. and Mme. Huber were relations and hereditary friends of the Necker fiunilf . 
Mme. Rilliat, M. Huber's sister, had been the intimate friend of Mme. dc SUlo 
before her marriage. 


impatient to be thought religious, a very bad sign. Hannah 
has a great opinion of her talents, but thinks her religious views 
dark and dangerous, and has cautioned her young friends to be 
guarded. Entre nous, she is determined to come to Barley 
Wood for religious discussion, and let her! She has been 
miserable lest Mr. Wilberforce should not think well of her. 

After strenuously resisting the Poets of the Lakes, a gentle- 
man has introduced Coleridge, a very superior man certainly, 
but a destroyed constitution, driven to laudanum, and its 
follower, port wine. However, I cannot but hope his views are 
changed ; he has affronted all his Socinian friends, and lost his 
pension ; he showed us a note from Dr. Estlin/ desiring to see 
him no more ; he states account of his altered views simply, 
and is very interesting. It took place in Madame de Stael's 
Germany. That lady desired to see him in London ; he gives 
her all due praise, but persists there is a great flash, without 
equal depth. 

John Harford* came yesterday with the following fact from 
America, to which precious place, you know, Jeffrey * is gone 
for a wife and a feast of Jacobinism. In the first I hope he 
will succeed, in the latter he has been totally disappointed. 
On the first introduction to his dear and beloved friend Madi- 
son,* that gentleman, in whom he is so much disappointed, 
asked him with the most disgusting and supercilious sneer what 
the people of England said to the American war? Jeffrey 
coolly replied he did not think half the people of England knew 
there was a war. 

I forgot to say that on some person's saying to Coleridge he 
made but a poor breakfast, he replied that Mr. Elwin (who you 
know was as near infidelity as most persons ever have been) 
had lent him Archbishop Leightotiy and that he could not put 
it out of his hand till four in the morning, and he had never 
read so fine a work. Just before Coleridge went away, arrived 
Lady Lifford, a charming pious woman who has a husband a 
Dean and a Lord.*^ Five minutes before her departure arrived 
a beautiful creature in a hack chaise, which she dismissed, tell- 
ing the driver she would be taken up at Wrington. She was 
most elegantly and fashionably dressed. She mentioned her 
name so low we did not catch it, but said she had met us once 
at a neighbouring gentleman's. When all were departed and 
she found herself alone, she grew very much agitated. I ran 

* A Unitarian minister at Bristol, with whom Coleridge corresponded. 
3 Mr- Harford of Blaize Castle. 

3 I>ord Jeffrey, editor of the Edinburgh Review, married at New York in 1813, as 
his second wife, Miss Wilkes, great-niece of John Wilkes. 
^ President of the United States, 1809. 
» Xbe second Viscount Lifford was in Holy Orders and Dean of Armagh. 


for a glass of port, which she eagerly drank. Sally and I left 
the room to spare her confusion of confession, whatever it 
might be, before so many. Angelic creature ! It was religious 
trouble. She is high-born and highly married. She is settled 
about twelve miles from us. She has a sister married to a 
captain of a ship who is decidedly pious, and here are these two 
young handsome creatures, without ever having any human 
means, mistresses of Doddridge, Baxter, etc. I believe Hannah's 
works first sowed the seed. Her husband is very clever, and 
won't hear of Mr. Wilber force's book because of the gloom ; but 
likes to hear her read Hannah's works, and to talk of her, 
because she is lively and not bitter. Hannah and we were all 
so exhausted with our morning that we were unable to keep 
her to dinner; but charged her to come very soon, and bring 
him with her, at which she was transported. I threw my shawl 
over my head, and walked down the lane with her, but she 
stopped every five minutes to kiss me. 

I think you must be as tired of this morning as we were. 1 
hope the little remaining time I may be in this world, you will 
never expect such a long letter again, and who knows, you may 
not wish it. All this, and not a word of Alexander, the man 
who has added a text to the Bible, * you destroyed my Capital 
and 1 am come to save yoursJ I know of nothing like it 
Astonishing that our archbishops and bishops take no religious 
hint from these great northern Christians, that they should go 
and quash the brave English spirit in their liberal intentions 
towards the sufferings of the Germans ; it is something horrible. 
Had I been in London, I would have locked up Mr. Babington 
till he had got some thousands from old Noel ; ^ 'tis shameful, I 
wish I had time to copy a paragraph from Admiral Bedford's 
last letter off the Scheldt, his serious alarm at people flocking 
over to Paris ; their morals are deplorable. Twenty years ago he 
was in Holland, and the most virtuous people, particularly the 
women, he ever beheld. Now he says decency forbids him to 
relate what he knows. — Your very sincere 

Martha More. 

from the rev. thomas gisborne. 

Yoxall Lodge, May 13, 1813. 
I wish privately to tell you the following anecdote told 
yesterday to me by my brother. He is recently returned from 
a house where Mr., Mrs., and the Misses Edgeworth were at the 

^ Mr. Thomas Gisbome Babington, Macaulay*s partner, was just engaged to the 
Hon. Augusta Noel, daughter of Lord Barham, who had been First Lord of ilic 
Admiralty in 1805. The marriage took place the following April. 


same time. After dinner, the lady of the house and her 
daughter retired with Mrs. and Miss Edgeworth to the drawing- 
room, where, as the 'daughter afterwards detailed to my brother 
and another gentleman, the following matter took place. The 
Christian Observer being, I think, incidentally named. Miss 
Edgeworth (her mother-in-law, Mrs. Edgeworth, still being 
present) said, that some one had sent to her father the Christian 
Observer containing the Review of her late work ; ^ that her 
father read it with great attention ; that, on being asked what he 
thought of it, he replied, * Curse the writer, I can almost for- 
give him, he is so clever' ; and that one of his sons, Mr. Sneyd 
Edgeworth (an Irish lawyer) immediately replied, * Father, you 
must spare your curses and forgive the writer. I wrote that 
Review ; ' and then he added that he had thought his sister so 
wrong, that he had determined to take that mode of laying his 
opinions before her. Miss Edgeworth, after giving this account, 
said she was much struck (or something of the sort) by what 
her brother had said ; and that if her work had a new edition, it 
should come forth altered as recommended in the Christian 

If you can properly tell me anything as to the facts stated or 
implied in the above account (I have given it accurately as 
given to me), I shall be very glad. 

It must be acknowledged that Miss Edgeworth exhibited 
considerable magnanimity in accepting the rebukes adminis- 
tered to her, for the Reviewer, after placing Mrs. H. More far 
above her, as working * for the glory of God and happiness of 
men/ proceeds : — 

* Miss Edgeworth still perseveres in her hardy and unnatural 
purpose of presenting to us a world without religion. Bad as 
the w^orld is, we are still inclined to attribute to it some con- 
sciousness of the existence of such a thing as religion, some 
profession even, and occasionally some form of it. We behold, 
in short, in Miss Edgeworth's personages what mankind would 
be without religion. At the death-scene in 'Vivian' we are 
somewhat startled at the appearance of a clergyman, and at one 
religious expression in *Emilie de Coulanges,' a very strange 
and unaccountable slip^ shall we call it ? ' 

1 The second series of Tales of Fashionable Life, which includes * The Absentee ' 
and * Vivian/ published in 1812. 




Among the many subjects of national importance with which 
Macaulay's mind was occupied during this period of his life, 
one that engrossed a very large share of his thoughts and pen 
was the education of the poorer classes. He had, soon after 
his final return from Africa, made the acquaintance of a man 
who, notwithstanding great faults, is universally acknowledged 
to rank high among the pioneers of the education of the mass 
of the people. Joseph Lancaster's system of employing the 
older scholars in his schools in teaching, and thus gradually 
training them in his methods of instruction so as to enable the 
knowledge of the rudiments of reading, writing, and arithmetic 
to be imparted to large numbers of children at the same time, 
began to attract considerable attention ; and the Borough 
School in Southwark, which was under his own special guid- 
ance, was visited by numbers of persons who were interested 
in progress. The system was brought prominently into notice 
by the patronage of the King, who honoured Lancaster with a 
private interview, in which he encouraged him to persevere in 
his efforts, and expressed his earnest desire that every poor 
child in his dominions should be taught to read the Bible. 

Many of the difficulties which Lancaster had had to encounter 
were now smoothed away by the royal patronage, and he found 
himself celebrated, and his advice sought for on every side; 
but unfortunately his head was too weak to support with 
propriety the success which he had deservedly attained. He 
disgusted his well-wishers by vanity and self-conceit, and his 
foolish and reckless expenditure soon involved his schools 
deeply in debt. 

The good work which he had been the means of inaugurating 
was not, however, allowed to suffer. A few philanthropic noble- 
men and gentlemen joined together to meet the liabilities which 


he had incurred, became trustees for his schools, and founded 
the Society which was known ultimately by the title of the 
British and Foreign School Society. 

Lancaster's disposition, however, was such that it was difficult 
to benefit him permanently. Impatient of control, his wild 
impulses and extravagance made him impossible as a fellow- 
worker. He soon quarrelled with the friends who had come to 
his rescue, and the remainder of his history is a painful record, 
ending in bankruptcy and utter ruin. A small annuity which 
was then provided for him could not save him from the suffering 
which was the inevitable consequence of his persistent miscon- 
duct ; and he was again plunged deeply in debt when his 
career was terminated by an accident in New York, where he 
passed the last part of a life which had promised so differently. 
It may well be imagined that such a character possessed few 
attractions for a man of Macaulay's disposition, although he 
spared no pains to make himself thoroughly acquainted with 
Lancaster's plans ; gave just praise to the energy of his labours 
on so important a subject as Macaulay felt National Education 
to be ; and even at first bestowed some salutary counsel upon 
him, advising Lancaster specially to be on his guard against 
vanity and self-confidence. But Macaulay's keen insight was 
not long in discerning the real nature of the individual with 
whom he was dealing, and in the controversy which shortly 
arose between Lancaster and Dr. Bell, who claimed priority in 
the discovery of the theory of instruction which at that period 
went by the name of the Lancastrian system, Macaulay steadily 
supported Dr. Bell's claim to be the original promulgator of the 
monitorial scheme. In 1804 Macaulay writes: — 

* There is something very plausible in Mr. Lancaster's pro- 
posal of a Society established on general Christian principles ; 
but who shall fix what are those general principles of Chris- 
tianity, which, as essential verities, must be made the basis of a 
system of instruction? By general Christian principles Mr, 
Lancaster has left room to conjecture that he may have meant 
something which might coalesce as well with Deism as with 
Christianity, What right have those to be considered Christians 
who deem it unnecessary to introduce into their plans of educa- 
tion any reference to the salvation purchased for us by the 
blood of Christ ? By Mr. Lancaster's scheme religious bigotry 
may be avoided ; but there is another evil which is the greatest 


that can befall a nation — irreligion ; ignorance of the true God, 
and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent The resident parochial 
clergy have it in their power to obtain the superintendence 
over a large proportion of the lower classes of schools through- 
out the kingdom, and the good which they may effect is 

Dr. Andrew Bell appears to have originated the scheme of 
mutual instruction in India almost simultaneously with Joseph 
Lancaster in this country, and he had utilised his position as 
teacher in the Orphan School at Madras to make experiments 
and perfect the system. On his return to England he placed 
his experience at the disposal of Macaulay, who with his band 
of allies was actively engaged in organising the association 
which was finally founded in i8ii under the title of the 
National Society for the Education of the Poor in the Principles 
of the Church of England. Dr. Bell was employed by them in 
the formation of schools in which the new system of instruction 
and internal arrangements was adopted, but which made the 
religious teaching of the Church of England the basis of the 
whole fabric.^ 

The chief difference, therefore, between the two Associations 
was, that in the schools of the British and Foreign School 
Society no Catechism or doctrinal teaching was permitted, and 
the religious instruction consisted simply in portions of Scrip- 
ture which were read aloud daily. But to this Society, and to 
its great rival the National Society, the merit must be at- 
tributed of having laid the foundations of popular education in 
this country. 

No one rejoiced more heartily than Macaulay did in the 
successful establishment of the National Society, but his was 
not a mind that was easily satisfied ; and impelled by the strong 
conviction which he had of the results which could be obtained 
from such a powerful organisation, if properly directed, he may 
soon be found urging an extension of the work of the Society, 
He writes : — 

* The National Society being an engine of mighty power, and 
having among its members the whole bench of bishops, 

^ * To Central National School meeting — children admirably taught, and generU 
spirit delightful and animating. The difference between them and the Lancastrians 
very striking — exemplifying the distinction between Church of England and Dis- 
senterism." — WilbtrforttU Diary ^ June 1814. 


should go at once to the legislature with a plan for educating 
the poor; — a plan which shall embrace every parish in the 
kingdom, we had almost said in the empire ; and which shall 
enact that wherever there do not already exist sufficient means 
of educating the poor in the principles of the established 
Church, such means shall be provided by a parish or other rate. 
A measure of this kind, while it would secure in every place the 
means of educating the poor in the principles of the established 
Church, would at the same time leave every one at perfect 
liberty to pursue such a course of education, or form such 
institutions, as he might deem eligible; and this would take 
away every reasonable objection which could be made to the 
plan by Dissenters from the establishment. If we are zealous 
for the extension of education on the principles of the Liturgy 
and Catechism of the Church of England, it is not because 
that Church is established by law, but because we believe it in 
our conscience to be, without any exception, the best form 
of Christianity ; the best for training both the young and old 
to knowledge and virtue, and marshalling them the way to 

The following letter is inserted as a specimen of many which 

Dr. Isaac Milner, Dean of Carlisle and President of Queens' 

College at Cambridge, was in the habit of addressing to 

Macaulay and to others of his friends. His character presented 

the spectacle of a singular compound of great intellectual 

power, uncommon kindness and benevolence, indolence and 

hypochondria. He is said to be the sole individual upon whom, 

when taking a degree, the title of incomparabilis has been 

conferred. He died in 1820, at the age of sixty-nine. 


Carlisle Deanery y August 3, 18 13. 
My dear Friend, — I believe you may have always, or 
almost always, observed that when I do not write regularly, 
there is something not very pleasant going forward. 

You will be sorry to hear that an addition has lately been 
made to my many infirmities, namely, an inflamed and sore 
foot. The history of it is, that about ten days ago on pulling 
off ttiy stocking for bed, a most intolerable itching was felt at 
the top (not the end) of the middle toe of my right foot. 
Without thought, I rubbed, and perhaps scratched it im- 
prudently. This may have been the bite of a gnat (I hope not 



of a bug), for the itching is extremely like that of the bite of a 
gnat, and I have several of those bites on my hands at this 
moment, red places, bumps, that itch most intolerably. The place 
may have come of itself, or from the late sultry weather, aided 
by the pinching of the folds of a stocking somewhat What- 
ever has been the cause, it certainly has grown worse, spread a 
little, and grown more inflamed, and always on the least 
motion and bearing my weight on the part I am now reduced 
to a state of absolute rest; and you will understand that 
though I am not in the habit of taking much exercise, yet the 
want of the little which I did take is most severely felt I 
wrote yesterday, in consequence of the part appearing worse 
and sorer, to our old steady friend William Hey, from whom 
I trust I shall receive soon as good advice as can be given 
without seeing the parts affected. 

I have, however, preached at the Cathedral ever since I came 
here, six times ; but I suffered so much last Sunday that I am 
compelled to pause. 

This business affects me much more than might have been 
expected, or than it would probably have affected a person less 
worn down by infirmities, and of a better habit of body than I 
can be supposed to be. The being quite still is a trying evil, 
and will prove to me a discipline which will, I fear, go hard 
with me. I have experienced during some nights much sinking, 
low fever, and general debility. ' Tot vulneribus jam perculsus, 
huic uni me imparem sensi et pene succubui,' said Tully upon a 
different occasion. 

What a brittle thing life is ! Mr. Mason lost his life in about 
four days from a very slight bruise on his leg ; and there are 
many similar cases on record, which are very likely to occur to 
my mind, from having read so much about these subjects ; but 
one had not need to be for ever suspecting the worst At the 
same time what warnings we all have ! Who would have 
thought that such a bundle of infirmities as myself would have 
survived the late Bishop of London,^ who seemed robust and 
hardy both in body and mind ? His removal, I hope, cannot 
well fail to be favourable to the Church. He was most abomin- 
ably tyrannical and prejudiced up to the ears. His enmity to 
the Bible Society has been excessive and unreasonable in the 
highest degree. I understand that poor Owen is at leng^th 
ousted from his useful situation at Fulham by means of tm 
Rector, supported no doubt by the Bishop of London now 

^ Dr. Randolph, who had required Mr. John Owen, the Secretary of the Bible 
Society, to reside at a living in Essex to which he had been presented by Porteous^ 
Bishop of London, in iSoS. 


I was not without some hopes of raising a Bible Society 
Auxiliary in these parts, but everything seems adverse among 
the great Our Bishop is prejudiced beyond example, and I 
am sorry to hear that Lord Lonsdale, from whom I had hoped 
better things, is most determined to be hostile, and has got it 
into his head that we are all Dissenters or little better at 
bottom. — Yours very faithfully, Isaac Milner. 


When vexing thoughts within me rise. 
And sore dismayed my spirit dies, 
Then He who once vouchsafed to bear 
The sickening anguish of despair 
Shall sweetly soothe, shall gently dry 
The throbbing heart, the streaming eye. 

August IS, 1813. 
Mv DEAR Tom, — When I read your sorrowing letter to your 
Mamma my mind almost instantly recurred to the above lines. 
I think I heard you repeat them this day se'ennight. It is 
only necessary to feel their force in order to dry your tears. 
Consider how much our blessed Saviour voluntarily and cheer- 
fully bore for our sakes, to what pain and shame He was 
subjected, what privations and what sufferings He endured, 
and that without a murmur ; and then you will feel your own 
troubles light. He left the bosom of His Father for upwards 
of thirty years, during which He had to encounter every form 
of calamity and every depth of human wretchedness ; and yet 
how cheerfully did He submit to the will of Him that sent Him, 
how cheerfully did He apply Himself to the work that was 
given Him to do! For what purpose was this example ex- 
hibited to us? It was among other things as an example that 
we should tread in His steps ; that each of us in our sphere 
should do that which it was clearly our duty to do without 
murmuring or repining, nay, with content and satisfaction. 
Now, my dear Tom, I am far from saying you ought not to 
feel and to feel keenly the separation for a few months from a 
mother in every way so worthy of your affections and who 
loves you so tenderly, from myself and from your brothers and 
sisters, but a sense of duty should make even this pleasant. 
It is the will of your parents, and therefore the will of God, 
that you should be placed where you are ; and you must be 

1 This is ft reply to a very unhappy letter from his son, written on his return to 
school. Sir George Trevelyan says : ' His father answered him in a letter of strong 
religious co«nplexion, full of feeling and even of beauty, but too long for reproduc- 
tion in a biography that is not his own.' — Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay, 


sensible that it is for your own benefit and advantage, not for 
their pleasure, that they have made this arrangement. It 
would be a pleasure to them to have you always with them. 
But this would not be best for you, and it is now your business, 
as you wish to add to their comfort and happiness, cheerfully to 
set yourself to make the most of your situation. Compare 
your condition with that of many even of your own acquaint- 
ance. You have parents to watch over you and provide for 
you, to take part in all your pains and wants, and to rejoice in 
your improvement. How little would Henry Venn^ now 
count every other trial, and especially such a trial as that of 
going for a few months to receive instruction under so kind 
and estimable a friend as Mr. Preston, and with such pleasant 
associates as Blundell and Stainforth, if he could but enjoy as 
you do the pleasure of writing to and hearing from his parents, 
and of looking forward to a meeting with them after a few 
months, with increased stores of knowledge and fresh trophies 
of advancement Pray to God, my dear Tom, that He would 
give you that calm fortitude and serenity of mind which it is 
our duty to cultivate under all circumstances, and that He 
would enable you to give up cheerfully your own selfish prefer- 
ences when these stand in the way of duty. And fix your eyes 
on that meek and patient Lamb of God whose language and 
whose life exhibit one uniform and striking example of self- 
denial and resignation and holy and cheerful obedience. 

I hope to hear that the clouds which darkened your horizon 
have been dispersed, and that all is light and sunshine within.— 
I ever am, my dear Tom, your affectionate father, 

Z. Macaulay. 


Uttle Shelf ord^ September 15, 1813. 

My dear Mamma, — I received your kind letter to-day, but 
before I proceed to answer it I must observe that I wish you 
would direct to me as Mr. and not Master Macaulay, since it 
subjects me to jokes which I could willingly dispense with. 

The late news of Vandamme's ^ defeat . has contributed to 
raise our spirits a good deal. Mr. Preston (saving your 
presence) is a very despairing politician, and whenever he 

* His father, the Rev. John Venn, the Rector of Clapham, had died earlier in the 
year. The Rev. William Deal try was presented by Mr. Simeon to the liTing, aB<3 
held it for many years. 

* Vandamme was taken prisoner at Kulm with 10,000 men on August ja 


begins to talk of politics I cannot help thinking that he 
addresses us in the language of Kirke White — 

' Come let us sit, and weave a song, 
A melancholy song.* ^ 

To-day Mr. Hodson came from Cambridge with the news. 
Mr, Preston said, *Yes, it seems to be favourable upon the 
whole.' We all could not help bursting out laughing, which I 
joined with all my heart. Mr. Preston continued, * My friends 
here are laughing,' said he ; * I have been croaking to them of 
late.' Indeed he had been croaking, and foreboding nothing but 
' Death and defeat and loss of fame.' 

Mr. Hodson said, * Take in the Morning Chronicle. It will 
croak to any tune you may desire.* So ended the dialogue, 
which to me seemed one of the most ludicrous I ever heard. 

I should be obliged if you or the next member of the family 
who favours me with a letter would inform me whether my 
Uncle Colin is yet gone, or when he is going, or whether he 
prefers the pleasures of peace and tranquillity in Old England 
to fighting its battles and earning the laurels of victory in the 
valleys of the Pyrenees or on the ramparts of Bayonne. Time 
flies away so fast that in six weeks I shall be packing up for my 
return, and in less than a fortnight shall be commencing my 
examination studies. 

I am every day anticipating our fireside pleasures in the 
holidays. I remember almost every little circumstance that 
took place in the summer. I have not forgot the pears that 
John gave me the day before I came, nor Henry's eager desire 
to see the Blumbo, whom I hope he will again see before long. 

Our next subject of debate is on Catholic Emancipation. I 
do not much like political subjects, for they make the boys 
rather too warm in defence of this or that party. Especially 
when some of the boys have their fathers in the House of 
Commons, they fight for their fathers' party right or wrong. — 
Your affectionate son, T. B. Macaulay. 


I have had a letter from Lord Byron. You will like to see 
it, and I send you a copy. I was gratified by it. 

* Come, thou shall form my nosegay now, 
And I will bind thee round my brow ; 
And as I twine the mournful wreath 
I *ll weave a melancholy song ; 
And sweet the strain shall be and long. 
The melody of death. 

To the Herb KosQiasny. --Memorials of Kirke IVhite^ 


Bonaparte has called for an immediate levy of five hundred 
thousand conscripts and three hundred millions of livres ; and 
he declares his purpose to be to make all his enemies bite 
the dust He that sitteth in the heavens, I trust, hears this 
vain boast with derision, and will bring it to nought, as He has 
done the former boasts of this impious man. After having 
been employed as the Scourge of God for punishing the guilty 
nations of the earth, it would seem as if he were himself to be 
erected as a beacon to warn the kings and great men of the 
perils of a lawless and inordinate ambition. 


December, y, 1813. 

Sir, — I have just finished the perusal of an article in the 
Christian Observer on the 'Giaour.' You perhaps are un- 
acquainted with the writer, and at all events I have no business 
to enquire. I only wish you would have the goodness to thank 
him very sincerely on my part for the pleasure (I do not say 
unmixed pleasure) which the perusal of a very able, and I 
believe just criticism has afforded me. Of course I cannot be 
an impartial witness of its justice, but it is something in its 
favour when the author criticised does not complain of its 
sentence. This is not affectation : if I felt angry I could not 
conceal it even from others, and contempt can only be bestowed 
on the weak, amongst whom the writer of this article has 
certainly no place. 

I shall merely add that this is the first notice I have for some 
years taken of any public criticism, good or bad, in the way of 
either thanks or defence, and I trust that yourself and the 
writer will not attribute to any unworthy motive my deviating 
for once from my usual custom to express myself obliged to 
him. — I have the honour to be very sincerely your most 
obedient very humble servant, BiRON. 

PS, — I cannot fold this without congratulating you on the 
acquisition of a writer in your valuable journal, whose style and 
powers are so far above the generality of writers as the author 
of the remarks to which I have alluded. 

Macaulay, in unison with his friends, exerted himself greatly 
during this time in endeavours to relieve the terrible destitu- 
tion among the population in Germany, which was the result 
of the ravages of the Continental war. He and Thornton and 
Wilberforce not only contributed themselves, as far as their 
means permitted, but expended a good deal of pains and energy 


in opening a subscription for the benefit of the distressed Ger- 
mans, and in holding public meetings from time to time in 
order to keep the concern in their situation alive. 

No one can look over Macaulay's correspondence of the 
years preceding 181 5 without acknowledging the paramount 
interest with which he followed the events on the Continent, 
and the rejoicing with which he greeted the success of Great 
Britain and her allies in a war which it is easy to see partook 
in his eyes of the nature of a religious war. The Emperor 
Alexander of Russia was of a character calculated to excite the 
hopes of the opponents of slavery, who believed that this great 
Potentate possessed the power to put an end if he pleased to 
the Foreign Slave Trade, which rendered abortive the precau- 
tions taken by the British Government against smuggling 
slaves into our Colonies, and against enslaving fresh Africans. 
In spite of the utmost vigilance, all precautions against the 
traffic in human beings were eluded ; and it was with anxious 
and heavy hearts that, after Parliament rose, the interior 
Council of Abolition assembled in the summer of 1813. The 
place of meeting was Sandgate, where Mr. Wilberforce was 
settled for some months, and where he was joined by Henry 
Thornton, whose failing health was but too apparent to the 
eyes of his devoted friends, by Mr. Stephen and his son, after- 
wards known as Sir James Stephen of the Colonial Office, and 
by Brougham and Macaulay. There the measures to be laid 
before the African Institution were anxiously considered and 
discussed in all possible bearings, and, when finally decided 
upon to the satisfaction of the conclave, were invariably, as a 
matter of mere routine, laid aside to be worked into proper 
shape for presentation to the Committee by Macaulay and Mr. 
Stephen upon their return to town. The other members of 
the party might linger on by the seaside to snatch a short 
respite from their labours, but such a pause in their existence 
was necessarily denied at so important a crisis to these two 
indomitable friends of the slaves. 

The warfare against the evasions of the Slave Trade Aboli- 
tion Act, and the constant watchful enforcement of the Slave 
Felony Acts, had been waged with unremitting zeal by Mac- 
aulay and Mr. Stephen ; but the great measure for the Registra- 
tion of Slaves, a noble conception which has the merit of first 


opening the possibility of that final Emancipation which 
crowned their efforts twenty years later, is originally attribut- 
able to the mind of Stephen. 

The principle of registration to which the friends looked 
hopefully for the salvation of their black clients, since it would 
secure to them the protection of Parliament, made very slow 
progress. In 1 812 an Order in Council enforced the registra- 
tion of slaves in Trinidad. By 181 5 the only other Colonies to 
which it had been extended were St Lucia and Mauritius. In 
bitter resentment at the indifference of the Ministers, Mr. 
Stephen threw up his seat in the House of Commons rather 
than continue to support a Government which obstinately re- 
fused to promote a measure, the efficiency of which, in affording 
protection to the unhappy slaves, they yet fully acknowledged. 

Stephen was a man of a fiery and impetuous nature, and apt 
to be carried away by the vehemence of his feelings, but as a 
rule he was accessible to the influence of the calm and friendly 
remonstrances of Macaulay, to whom he was warmly attached. 
On an occasion about this time, however, when Stephen had 
worked himself up into a state of violent indignation at the 
lukewarmness of the Government, one of his sons remembered 
that Macaulay, after making some ineffectual attempts to 
soothe him, turned to himself, then a mere lad, and said with 
a certain admiration for the righteous wrath of his ally, * In 
anger, your father is terrific' 

The Registration Bill was introduced by Mr. Wilberforce 
late in the Session of 1815. The tactics adopted by its West 
Indian opponents were unscrupulous and violent, and various 
causes concurred to delay its progress. It was not until 18 19 
that the Government perceived that the moment had arrived 
when action was imperative, and during the Session of that 
year a Bill was introduced by the Secretary of State for the 
Colonies which effectually settled the matter, by enacting that 
an efficient system of registration of the slaves thoroughout 
the British dominions should come into force on the ist of 
January 1820. 

After seven years of ceaseless toil and repeated disappoint- 
ments, Macaulay and Stephen thus enjoyed the inexpressible 
satisfaction of feeling assured that, in the system at length 
legally established, lay the best available protection for their 


helpless clients. It was also the first advance on the road to 
Emancipation, a goal which it is clear from various indications 
that from this period Macaulay himself began to have in view, 
although with his habitual caution he for the present confined 
his ambition to the task of gaining step by step every imme- 
diate advantage, however apparently insignificant, that it was 
possible to win for the great cause. But it is evident that the 
highest aspiration of the majority of his colleagues did not 
rise above the hope that a general abolition of the Slave Trade 
might, in consequence of their efforts, be enforced upon all 
foreign countries equally with Great Britain. 

One cause which had affected the progress of the Registra- 
tion Bill, and cooled for a time the ardour of its advocates, 
was that the conjuncture of events which arose in 18 14 upon 
Napoleon's abdication and the termination of the great war, 
was supposed to be most favourable to the interests of Aboli- 
tion. At a meeting of the African Institution which was held 
at Gloucester House in April, where all the principal members 
were assembled, and among them Lord Grey, Lord Grenville, 
Lord Lansdowne, Sir James Mackintosh, Stephen, Wilber- 
force. Brougham, and Macaulay, a Resolution was passed 
deciding to abandon for the moment the Registration Bill ; to 
push for a Convention for the general Abolition of the Slave 
Trade ; to present an Address to the Crown ; and to negotiate 
with the Foreign powers. It was also decided, with the appro- 
bation of the Government, that the Board should send an 
envoy to Paris to be at hand to supply Lord Castlereagh with 
information, and that he should be a person who would be 
qualified to carry on discussions with Talleyrand, and Malouet, 
the Minister of the Colonies. 

The choice of the Committee unanimously fell upon Mac- 
aulay ; and indeed his zeal, sagacity, and accuracy, coupled 
with his perfect mastery of the French language, pointed him 
out as specially fitted for the Mission. He left for Paris in 
May, accompanied by his brother the General, whose acquaint- 
ance with many of the political personages assembled for the 
negotiations was expected to be of great service in facilitating 
business, and by Mr. Dicey, a Leicestershire country gentle- 
man, who had married a daughter of Mr. Stephen. But all 
Macaulay's endeavours to induce Lord Castlereagh to take 


the decided line of action which must at once have put an end 
to legalised traffic in human beings proved ineffectual, and 
the utmost concession that he could obtain was that some 
vague promise as to the future should be inserted in the 
French Treaty. Under these circumstances he felt that any 
further stay in Paris was useless, and returned in bitter dis- 
appointment to announce his failure to his friends. They 
all assembled to greet him a^ Henry Thornton's town house 
in Old Palace Yard, where Macaulay related his experi- 
ences, and read aloud the letter of which he was the bearer 
from Talleyrand to Wilberforce, on which the opinion pro- 
nounced by the audience was that it was very clever, but 
artful and dissembling. 

In the following year, however, an entirely unexpected 
auxiliary came to the assistance of the Abolitionists upon 
this question. Bonaparte, during his brief restoration to 
power, issued a proclamation abolishing the French Slave 
Trade, and upon the return of the Bourbons, it was felt that 
his action had made it impossible for their Government to 
sanction its continuance. The appointment also of the Duke 
of Wellington as English ambassador at Paris was most 
auspicious for the cause, and during the Congress of Vienna 
and afterwards, Macaulay was in continual communication 
with him and with Lord Castlereagh respecting the abolition 
of the Foreign Slave Trade. To secure the fulfilment of the 
promise that the Slave Trade should not be revived where it 
had been actually suppressed, Macaulay had laboriously col- 
lected a mass of proofs that were convincing to any unpre- 
judiced mind as to the fact that, except for a small amount of 
smuggling, the Slave Trade had entirely ceased upon the wind- 
ward coast of Africa, from Cape Blanco to the Equator. Even 
Mr. Wilberforce expressed amazement to find the proof so ade- 
quate. * I do not think,' he writes, * that a grain can be added to 
the weight with which your zeal, diligence, and method in preserv- 
ing your papers have loaded the scale in our favour.' Macaulay 
remarked to the Duke of Wellington that he thought it would 
be impossible for the French Ministers to elude the force of the 
evidence. * I do not see how on earth they can,' was the reply 
of the Duke. It was not, however, till 1819 that the Abolition 
of the Slave Trade was effectually carried out by legislation ir. 


France, and the treaty made with Spain which provided for 
finally abolishing the Foreign Slave Trade after May 1820. On 
this occasion Mr. Wilberforce writes to Macaulay : * No one 
has more right than you to be congratulated, for no one has 
done or suffered as much as yourself in and for this great cause.' 


Parisy May 30, 18 14. 
I yesterday received your letter of the 25th, and rejoice in 
your good news, for what can be better news for me than to 
hear you are all in health? I am to be with Madame de 
Stael to-day by her own desire at one, and afterwards dine with 
M. le Baron de Malouet, the Minister of the Marine and the 
Colonies, by special invitation, 'to talk over the interesting sub- 
ject of the African Slave Trade.' What will come of it all I 
know not, but it seems right to cherish every opening prospect 
of good, however slight, 

I dined yesterday at a M. Faber's, a great merchant who lives 
at the foot of Montmartre. He has several young ladies in the 
family. They were describing in lively terms their frayeur 
incroyable while the cannon were roaring and the balls falling 
around them. They did not quit their house, however. It was 
terrible, they said, to see the dead and the dying borne along 
from the field of battle. 

Yesterday had not the slightest appearance of Sunday. It 
differed from other days in being more gay and festive. The 
theatres were all open, and the Palais Royal and the Boulevards 
and the Tuileries filled to excess with men and women in their 
best array; but so tranquil and so well behaved that if one did 
not see them to be immortal spirits enjoying this world without 
the slightest recollection of another, there would be something 
delightful in their gaiety. I heard a sermon at Lord Cathcart's 
from a Mr. Lee, which I am persuaded was more Popish than 
anything preached at Paris anywhere else on the same day. 
He told us very often that we were to be saved by our repent- 
ance and good works, and that those who merited pardon and 
heaven would get both, so therefore do what you can to deserve 

One of the first things a person is struck with on exchanging 
London for Paris is the superior decorum which reigns in the 
latter place. The women are all dressed with singular 
modesty, and if a person avoids the haunts of vice and prosti- 
tution, the limits of which in Paris are very exactly defined, he 
sees nothing to offend the nicest delicacy. Even among the 


lower classes there is a remarkable absence of external be- 
haviour really indelicate. Some things indeed are said and 
done without scruple which we should not do or say in Eng- 
land ; but the ears of modesty are seldom offended in this 
country, as in England, by rude or indecent language. 

The coup (Tceii of Paris is exceedingly striking, much more 
so than London ; but, after all, it is in many respects a far 
inferior place. The tranquillity of it at the present moment is 
hardly to be conceived. I have neither seen nor heard anything 
here which indicates the slightest indisposition towards the 
Bourbons, while there is much which marks their popularity. 
Every shop is filled with pamphlets in their favour ; and the 
whole course of things at the theatres is decidedly loyal. 

I saw Blucher for some time one evening, I am sorry to say, 
playing deep at rouge et noir} He is a stout-looking man for 
his years, and seems of active habits, and civil in his manners. 
But he gives an idea rather of an old farmer than of a victorious 
General. The post, however, will not wait, so I must despatch 


LincoMs Inn Fields^ Thursday. 

I have read our friend William Allen's letter with very great 
interest, and I trust some little good may be gained, but my 
disappointment will not be great if that little be reduced to 
nothing. In truth, I fear William Allen has been egreg^ously 
deceived by the great men he has conversed with. I don't 
mean by any extraordinary vapouring of Alexander, though of 
that he is quite capable, but that William Allen has mistaken 
the mere mouth civility of courtiers for acquiescence, even 
hearty concurrence. 

I wish I may prove wrong, but my estimate of the principles 
of those gentry is very low. 

Lord Wellington, by understanding (though not by feeling, of 
which he has none), is with us, and pretty stoutly. My remarks 
do not apply to him. 

General Macaulay, since his return from the East, had more 
than once paid a visit of several months* duration to the neigh- 

* * On his (Marshal Blticher's) arrival at Paris, he went every day to the saion^ anJ 
played the highest stakes at rouge et noir. The salon was crowded by persons ^ ho 
came to see him play. His manner of playing was anything but gentlemanlike, and 
when he lost he used to swear in German at everything that was French, lookinc; 
daggers at the croupiers.* — Reminiscences of Captain Gromno, 

Mt seems a curious fact that the sole address of the letters sent from Englauod Vk 
post to Macaulay during his stay on this occasion at Paris was ' M. Macaula.y, cbc* 
M. Luke Callaghan, Paris.* 


bourhood of Geneva, where he had entered into society, had 
made many interesting acquaintances, and had laid the founda- 
tions of several valuable and lifelong friendships both for 
himself and his brother. Society in Geneva at that time was 
closely connected with England ; and among others, Sismondi, 
the historian of the Italian Republics, had been already brought 
into familiar relations with the Abolitionist party in London 
through his marriage with a sister-in-law of Sir James Mackin- 
tosh; and the well-known M. Dumont had only recently 
quitted England to establish himself at his native town, in 
order to assist in its restoration to independence. 


Geneva^ November 23, 18 14. 
Sir, — I am unable to express the gratitude and exultation 
with which I have received your kind letter of the 8th instant 
I will look out for another opportunity to send to you some 
copies of a second pamphlet on the same subject, which I am 
just publishing. You have the more right to it, sir, as I owe 
several parts of the information contained in it to a publication 
of yours, the Christian Observer^ which was communicated to 
me by your brother, General Macaulay. A friend of Lord 
Holland, and my friend M. Dumont, had received, it seems, 
from Sir Samuel Romilly, orders to spread in France publica- 
tions on that subject at the cost of the African Institution. 
We have agreed with a bookseller to print both pamphlets in 
the cheapest way, and we took care to disseminate the first in 
all the mercantile towns and seaports of France, to direct them 
to the most notable Chambres de Commerce, and to circulate 
them in the most brilliant circles of Paris ; and if the book 
may do any good, we have not been deficient at least in our 
eflTorts to draw on it the attention of the public. The second 
part has not yet passed the censure in France. The printer of 
Geneva will send you a number of copies to Mr. Murray, 
Albemarle Street, 50, my bookseller in London. I am im- 
patient to know whether it will deserve that benevolent appro- 
bation so kindly conferred on the first by my friends in 

I ann happy, sir, that you gave me an opportunity of 
declaring my high regard for you. I beg you to receive the 
assurance of my sincere esteem and respect, and to believe me 
to be your very faithful servant, 

SiMONDi DE Sismondi. 



London^ December 26, 1814. 
I am half angry with myself for having brought upon you 
the task of writing so long a letter in your present state of 
health. I should not have written so soon had it not been to 
give you some account of our dear friend Henry Thornton. 
You can hardly conceive to what a degree he is extenuated and 
enfeebled in body, while his eye is as clear, his perceptions as 
acute, and his mind as vigorous as ever. I think I can see that 
Mrs. Thornton does not surrender herself entirely to the flatter- 
ing assurance of the physicians ; and for my own part I must 
confess that my fears greatly preponderate. You will enter 
into all the feelings with which I look forward to the probable 
dissolution of a fellowship like that which for twenty-two years 
has subsisted between Thornton and myself, a fellowship which, 
I think, has been more entire than I have enjoyed with any 
other person whatsoever. God grant that my fears may prove 

Tom is at home, and well. I am glad you like his ' Vision.' 
My brother, the General, showed it to the great Duke, who was 
much pleased with it. The Duke has entered heartily into 
Abolition politics. May he be as successful here as elsewhere 1 
I think that right principles and feelings have gathered 
strength in Tom*s mind, and he certainly continues as much 
attached as ever to home and its delights, and particularly to 
his dear mother, in whom he takes a genuine delight My wife 
and nine children are all in health. It has pleased God to 
bless all of them with sound constitutions and fair understand- 
ings, and they are all dutiful and affectionate to us and each 

We have rejoiced in receiving from time to time accounts o( 
your progressive convalescence. And yet I have sonnetimes 
thought had the issue been different, what should we have had 
to regret ou your own account ? We should have seen you rapt 
up as it were with Elijah in his chariot of fire, or ascending 
from the funeral pile with the Polycarps and Ridleys of other 
days, exchanging with them pain and weariness and mortalit)' 
for glory and immortality and joy. 

You may have heard that the Duke of Wellington has suc- 
ceeded in procuring from the French Government a decree 
abolishing the Slave Trade along the whole of the African 
coast as far down as Cape Formosa. Sierra Leone, and all the 
places where we have been carrying on our improvements are 
now exempted from the calamity which threatened them. Let 
us .bless God for this ; it is beyond my hopes. 


The * Vision/ the poem alluded to in the foregoing letter, 
must have peculiarly gratified the paternal pride of Macaulay. 
It embodied the reproaches of the Genius of Africa against 
Britain for the neglect shown to the interests of the slaves in 
the Treaty of Paris. Lord Castlereagh is styled the callous 
Envoy, and the boy winds up by an impassioned appeal to the 
Emperor Alexander, on whom, at that period, the hopes of all 
the Abolitionists were fixed, to issue his mandate to put an end 
to the Foreign Slave Trade. 

But subjects of reflection of a melancholy nature were now 

occupying Macaulay's mind to the exclusion for the moment of 

all others. The death of Henry Thornton of decline on the 

i6th of January 1815, terminating the friendship which had 

united the two men so closely, may perhaps be reckoned as the 

most poignant sorrow of Macaulay's life. In later years the 

loss of the wife, whom he regarded with feelings of devoted 

affection, was indeed a crushing blow; but at the period at 

which it occurred Macaulay was broken by misfortune and 

anxiety, and his impaired health gave him the consolation of 

hoping that he should not long survive her, while at the time 

of Henry Thornton's death he was in the prime and vigour of 

life, and his feelings were proportionally acute and not dulled 

by years and suffering. The loss of the daily association with 

a friend of his own age, to whom his interests were as sacred as 

those of a brother, was irreparable ; while at the same time he 

had to mourn the severance on public grounds, for in all 

matters connected with the great cause to which they had 

primarily consecrated their lives, as well as in many other 

important matters, he had been accustomed to rely for advice 

and g'uidance on Henry Thornton's sense and discernment. 

Macaulay's habitual reticence and self-control rendered his 

grief the more pathetic, and his letter to Mrs. Thornton, who 

only survived her husband a few months, is singularly touching 

and beautiful. 


February i, 1815. 

Mv OEAR Mrs. Thornton, — Could anything have been 
vanting to make me feel the full extent of your kindness, or 
o add to my regard for you, it would have been supplied by 
rout letter and present of yesterday. To me that memorial 


of one who was indeed a friend will be very dear, nor will the 
hand that bestowed it be less dear for having done me the 
justice to believe I should cherish such a gift. I did indeed 
love its possessor while living, and I had cause to love him. 
There are, I know, many sincere mourners for his loss ; but out 
of the immediate circle of his family, on none can that loss have 
fallen with such weight as on myself. I can truly say that for 
the last twenty-two years he was, as it were, my polar star, my 
presiding, my better genius. A thought of him, of the gleam 
of his approbation, or of his graver look of doubt or dissent, 
mingled itself insensibly, not merely with my larger pursuits, 
my plans and schemes in life, but with almost all I wrote or 
did. What will Henry Thornton say ? was with me a trying 
question on all occasions. Indeed, if you fully knew — it is 
fully known only to myself and to my God — if you fully 
knew the part he took in rousing me to better and higher 
sentiments and pursuits than I had been familiar with before, 
the pains he bestowed — the forbearance he exercised — the con- 
descension that he manifested — the care and patience with which 
he called forth and cherished whatever he might have discovered 
of a right tendency in a mind too much debased and warped 
to evil by its previous associations, you would be better able 
to appreciate the grounds of that grateful and affectionate 
reverence in addition to all that were supplied by the intrinsic 
value of the great qualities of the head and heart, with which 
I clung to his friendship and sought his society, and now mouin 
his loss. Multitudes have been benefited by his bounty and 
been improved by his society; but in my case I owe him 
almost all. The happiness and usefulness of my life, in what- 
ever degree it may have been useful, have so had their springs 
in him, that in losing him I feel I have lost a father as well as 
a friend and guide. Indeed there is hardly a friendship in 
which I now delight, hardly a domestic relation in which I am 
blest, which does not more or less link itself with his remem- 
brance. But why should I interrupt your heavier grief with 
any reference to my own affliction ? You owe the intrusion to 
the affecting testimony you have given me of your kindness. 

I have been pleasing myself with figuring to my mind our , 
dear friend Venn welcoming his former associate in the heavenly 
course to a participation of the joys with a foretaste of which 
they had been blessed on earth. 

A few short years over, and if we are followers of their faith 
and patience we shall join them, and shall then not even think 
of our present sorrows except as they may have contributed to 
prepare us by their purifying effects for the glory that excellcth. 
We know what the delights of their society were on earth. 


What must it be in heaven? — Believe me, yours most truly 
and faithfully, Z. MACAULAY. 


London^ February 8, 1815. 
My dear Friend, — I have just been paying the last sad 
offices of humanity to our dear Bowdler. His body was en- 
tombed amid a select group of sorrowing friends whose grief 
witnessed the place he had held in their affection, and in whose 
hearts the remembrance of what he was will, I trust, tend to 
assimilate them to the same brightening image of the Saviour 
he loved and served. 

I need not tell you what a breach this has made in our circle, 
broken as it had already been by our dear Henry Thornton's 
death. When I look on his dear wife and children I am 
ashamed to speak of my own share in this calamity ; and yet 
mine is certainly no common grief. There were many who 
owed him much. I owed him almost all — I owed him in no 
small degree myself — my rescue from base and grovelling 
associations to high and noble and elevating objects, to a 
fellowship with himself. I alone, and God, with whom is the 
record of it, know what I owe to that dear friend. I cannot 
even turn my sorrowing eye on my own dear wife and children 
without recollecting the part that hand which is now moulder- 
ing in the grave, and that heart which has ceased to beat, had 
in rearing the fabric of my worldly happiness. For twenty-two 
years he was indeed the guide, philosopher, and friend, the 
steady and faithful counsellor, the cheerful and unwearied 
fellow-labourer. Our sentiments and pursuits were identified 
in a degree that seldom occurs. And I can truly say that I 
hardly wrote or acted during that time without feeling that his 
eye was upon me, and thinking either of the gleam of his 
approbation or his graver look of doubt and dissent. May 
Cxod forgive my abuse and nonimprovement of this privilege, 
for sure never was man more blessed in an associate ! 

Sut if I can thus write and feel, what must be the feelings 

of his dear wife? She is indeed very desolate, but receives 

support and consolation in the hour of her distress where she 

had been taught to place her dependence in the hour of pro- 

sj>erity. She stands a most encouraging example of the power 

of Christian faith in circumstances peculiarly trying. She has 

lost in her husband the light of her eyes. She had almost 

adopted Bowdler as a son, on whose arm she might lean 

during the residue of life's journey. The staff is rent from 

her grasp, and she is left a widow indeed. 



You would be surprised at the cold, meagre, inadequate men- 
tion of Henry Thornton in the Christian Observer. It was 
unavoidable. Henry had issued a very strong and urgent 
request to his wife that he might not be eulogised in it She 
conveyed that request to me in still stronger language, I believe, 
than it had been conveyed to her. I received it as a prohibition 
even to mention him at all, and that was my course. But an 
hour or two before the last sheet of the work went to press I was 
told I might announce his death as if he were unknown to the 
Editor except by the notoriety of his character. I cut out a 
piece that had already been printed to make room for the few 
words you see. 

With our united regards to you all (I feel you are all become 
dearer for loving so well those I loved), yours ever most truly, 

Z. Macaulay. 


London, February 15, 181 5. 

You would be shocked to hear that another dear friend had 
been summoned from our circle. Dr. Buchanan had mingled 
his tears with mine over Henry Thornton's grave. He staid 
to talk over our loss till the succeeding day, when he left us 
apparently in very good health. This state of health continued 
to the very day of his death. He died very suddenly and 
unexpectedly. It gives me unspeakable satisfaction to reflect 
now on much that passed between us during that interview. 
He was describing, among other things, the minute pains he 
was taking with the proofs and revision of the Syriac Testa- 
ment, every page of which passed under his eye five times 
before it was finally sent to press. He had expected, he said, 
beforehand that this process would have proved irksome to him, 
but no, he added, every fresh perusal of the sacred page seemed 
to unveil new beauties. Here he stopped and burst into tears. 
I was alarmed. ' Don't be alarmed,* he said as soon as he had 
recovered himself; * I could not suppress the emotion I felt as 
I recollected the delight it had pleased God to afford me in 
the reading of His Word.* 

Mrs. Thornton, I think, is better on the whole. Marianne 
has conducted herself admirably throughout the trying scenes 
she has had to pass through. 


My dear Friend, — For your kind, interesting and heart- 
breaking letter I return you my sincere thanks, but they must 


be hasty, as I am very unwell. Thornton, Bowdler, Buchanan ! 
Three such men in three weeks ! Who next ? I almost tremble 
to open a letter. But I need not add my sorrows to your own, 
which are intense. 

What a loss is Dr. Buchanan ! I am afraid, like the natives 
of his own East, he sacrificed himself on the tomb of his 
Benefactor, for I hear that a cold caught at Henry's funeral 
brought on his death. 

I am truly uneasy for Mr. Macaulay's health and peace from 
the deep interest he takes in this unexpected misfortune. He 
seems to be always working for others to the destruction of his 
own repose and time. It is indeed a succession of Christian 
offices of which his life is made up. It is a pleasure to talk 
about him with dear Wilberforce. Mr. Macaulay's zeal in the 
cause of the widow and fatherless is truly noble. Thank God 
there is a reward for the righteous. Doubtless there is a God 
that judgeth the earth ! — ^Yours affectionately, H. More. 


Barley Woody March 29, 1815. 

I must repeat it, no friend you have can sympathise with 

you more cordially than myself in the infamous treatment you 

continue to experience. I trust it will please God to remove 

this heavy load from you, to support you under it, and to 

sanctify it to you. The answer, I trust, must completely refute 

the base charges by proving them to be utterly unfounded. 

What a world it is! Our dear Henry Thornton is perhaps 

looking down from his blissful state, and rejoicing that he was 

called to suffer in the cause of truth and humanity. This will 

one day be your case. In the meantime your fair fame sustains 

no injury in the opinion of the wise and good. Unhappily 

that is not the majority in this planet, though I trust it is so 

on the present question. 

My two political sisters are so disgusted with the Whitehall 
paper that they beg the favour of your ordering it to be changed 
for any moderate three times a week paper. From being 
friendly to Government it is become so inflammatory we don't 
think it right to take it. It is almost as Jacobinical as Mr. 
Brougham. How I grieve that Mr. Stephen is no longer in 
the House to lift up his strong and honest voice ! This paper 
puts in no speech but of one side. We should be glad of a 
paper that comes out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, that 
we may not receive it on Sunday. Excuse this trouble. I have 
forborne virriting, knowing how full your hours are. 



Clapkanty April 20, 181 5. 
Most gtadly should I accept your invitation ; it is indeed a 
most attractive one in every point of view, but I am sorry to say 
I am forced to come to the painful conclusion that at present I 
have no choice, but must remain a fixture in London. 

I have answered Thorpe,^ it is true, as far as respects his 
personal charges, and my friends are pleased to think satisfac- 
torily. I have also prepared a vindication of dear Henry 
Thornton and the Sierra Leone Company and the African 
Institution from the first moment of their existence, and have 
satisfied some of the most enlightened men in England who 
have condescended to go over with me the records of twenty- 
five years of labour and travail, with the unquestionable 
accuracy of every statement The men who have taken this 
pains are Lord Selkirk ; E. B. Wilbraham, M.P. ; the Grecian 
Morritt, M.P. ; Blake, the author of paper currency ; W. Smith 
of Norwich, M.P.; and Mr. Thomas Harrison. They have 
given me their time with a perseverance which is quite surpris- 
ing, and they have made the statement in truth their own, and 
given it all the stamp of their authority. But the statement 
though prepared, is not published, and considering the part these 
friends have taken, and the importance of the thing in itself, 
and the desirableness of avoiding delay, and the necessity of 
occasionally meeting and consulting, I could not venture to 
quit town. 

Secondly, my partner, Tom Babington, sets off to-morrow to 

Thirdly, a number of Slave Trade causes are now trjdng 
weekly before the Privy Council, of which I have the whole and 
sole conduct. It is precisely the time when the Lords of 
Appeal are most unremitting in their sittings ; and when, there* 
fore, the large interests intrusted to me by my constituents, the 
officers of the Navy, require from me the most unremitting 

Now, you will feel that any one of these three reasons would 
be of force sufficient to prevent my flight from London, but 
combined, they seem to form an absolutely insurmountable 


ClaphatHy October 4, 1815. 
I returned last night from Brighton, where I had the pain of 
witnessing so rapid a falling off in the appearance and strengtlfc 

» Sec p. 287. 


of our dear friend,^ as wholly to extinguish arty residue of hope 
I had been led to cherish. She may still continue to linger 
among us for some weeks, but she is so weak that it were to hope 
against all ground of hope to consider her recovery, humanly 
speaking, as possible. I had the melancholy satisfaction of 
arranging all her worldly affairs for her, and thus removing one 
source of disquietude. Her serenity, peace, and composure are 
quite edifying. The few words she can utter are full of humble 
and grateful feelings towards all her friends, but especially 
towards her God and Saviour. * I commit my soul/ she said, 
*into the hands of my dear Redeemer who has been gently 
leading me to the place He has provided for those that love 
Him.' She has named her brother Daniel Sykes and myself her 
executors ; Charles and Robert Grant the guardians of her sons ; 
and Robert Inglis and his wife the guardians of her daughters. 

Marianne is quite a surprising young woman. She is fully 
aware of her mother's danger, but carries herself with wonderful 
strength of mind. I fear greatly for her health. I am quite 
alarmed at the idea of her catching her mother's complaint,^ 
and have been urging Wilberforce and the Grants to think what 
can be done to prevent this. Oh, what a world it is ! 

London^ October i8, 1815. 
Mr. Wilberforce has of course informed you of the closing 
scene of our dear friend which he witnessed at Brighton. Her 
body is to arrive at Battersea Rise this evening, and to be laid 
by the side of dear Henry's to-morrow. It is impossible to 
imagine a death more truly consolatory and even beautiful. 
Her repose not only of mind but of body seemed hardly to be 
disturbed for an instant ; and the nearer she drew to the horizon, 
the more clear and cloudless appeared her prospect. It was 
perfect peace, the peace which passeth understanding. Mari- 
anne has outdone herself on this occasion. She has manifested 
a most extraordinary union of tenderness and fortitude 
throughout the whole of the trying scenes she has had to pass 
through during the last twelve months ; and this last blow 
seems only to have excited her to fresh efforts of constancy, 
and meek and patient suffering. 

J spent Saturday and Sunday last at Aspenden HalP in 
company with my wife. We were much pleased with all we 
save. Mr. Preston gratified us by making William Wilberforce 
and Tom declaim before us and the whole party. William 
spoke well against standing armies, and Tom appeared as 

* Mrs. Henry Thornton. 

' Pulmonary consumption. 

* Mr. Preston had moved his school to Aspenden Hall, Buntingford. 


Coningsby impeaching Harley, Earl of Oxford, for blasting 
Marlborough's laurels by the peace of Utrecht Both acquitted 
themselves well. Preston speaks in very high terms of Tom in 
respect both to literary improvement and moral conduct. As 
to literature, he says he stands clearly at the head of the school, 
and bears withal his station modestly. This is all very satis- 
factory, and affords great ground of thankfulness. 

We are all very well, except as we suffer with our suffering 
friends around us. 

Claphaniy November Z^ 1815. 

I ought to have written you sooner, had it only been to 
relieve the trouble of your friend Mr. Coleman. His paper 
will occupy so much room that it has hitherto been deferred 
from sheer necessity. It has occurred to me also as advisable 
to republish the whole of the preface in Paris as a tract, and to 
distribute it liberally, with a view to conciliate the support of 
the Roman Catholics there to the plan of circulating the Scrip- 
tures. But in order to do this it would be necessary to have an 
exact transcript of the whole preface in the original language. 
This perhaps Mr. Coleman will have the goodness to furnish. 

There is, in fact, no French Bible Society. Mr. Leo is now 
engaged in stereotyping De Sacy's version of the New Testa- 
ment for the use of French Catholics, and I am labouring to 
make it more entirely the Bible Society's object, and I think I 
have succeeded. The Bible Society has contributed two hun- 
dred and fifty pounds, and will probably greatly add to that 
sum, besides giving largely to promote the circulation of 
Ostervald's Protestant version of the New Testament, also 
stereotyped by Leo. Leo is vain and egotistical, but a niost 
useful man, who has done more for France with regard to the 
Scriptures than all I know besides. I know him very well, and 
can take it upon me to aver that if he ever spoke of revenge, it 
was Christian revenge he meant, overcoming what he deemed 
evil by good. The circumstance puts me in mind of what lately 
happened to me. A correspondent, a very sensible man, whose 
communication was not inserted in the Christian Observer^ 
wrote to express his displeasure, but concluded with saying, 
' You have done me evil, but that will not move me from my 
purpose of doing you good. I will still continue to take your 

Some allusions in the following letter require an explanation 
to account for the strength of feeling displayed by Macaulay in 
writing it. Events had occurred to cause disappointment and 


infinite perplexity to those desirous of promoting the interests 
of the Reformed faith in France. 

After the escape of Lavalette from prison the evening before 
the sentence of death was to have been executed upon him, 
General Sir Robert Wilson, with two other Englishmen, was 
arrested as having aided in the evasion, and all his papers were 
seized. Great irritation had already been aroused among 
Frenchmen by the proceedings of the Secretaries of a Society 
in London, the Protestant Society for the Protection of Religious 
Liberty, who had publicly asserted that the disturbances which 
had recently taken place at Nismes were attributable to the 
hostility of the French Government against the Protestants. 
These gentlemen had persisted in publishing this statement 
both at home and abroad, and in making violent attacks upon 
the French Ministry, notwithstanding the receipt of a letter 
which the Duke of Wellington had addressed to them, giving a 
careful explanation of the causes of the political animosity 
which had given rise to the riots at Nismes, and solemnly assur- 
ing them that the French Government had made every possible 
effort to repress them. 

The Protestant Society, however, not only entirely disre- 
garded the letter of the Duke of Wellington, and continued to 
repeat their accusations with unabated virulence, but kept the 
letter secret When enquiries were made about it, apparently 
on information furnished by the Duke himself, the Secretaries 
made no apology, although the Society had also received letters 
in support of it from the excellent M. Maron, the President of 
the Protestant Consistory in Paris, and from some of the prin- 
cipal Reformed pastors, denying even more strongly than the 
Duke had done the facts assumed in the published Resolutions 
of the Protestant Society. The laudable endeavours of these 
pastors towards pacification were only rewarded by the Secre- 
ta^ries insinuating that they had written under the direction of 
the Minister of Police, and styling M. Maron a weathercock. 
^Macaulay grimly observes that he supposes they will end by 
vilifying the French Protestants because they will not admit 
tlxat they have been persecuted. 

The question of the alleged persecution was finally laid at 
^eist, as far as England was concerned, by a speech of Lord 
CsLStlereagh, on the isth of January, in which he declared that 


the statements upon which the interference was commenced 
and persisted in were absolutely untrue and without foundation. 
But the effects of the agitation abroad were more permanent ; 
and the excitement in France was brought to a climax by the 
discovery of a letter among Sir Robert Wilson's papers 
addressed to him from England by his brother, saying that in 
order to overturn the Bourbon Government in France, the fire 
must be kept vigorously alight, and that, above all, an * insinua- 
tion of a persecution, real or imaginary, against the Protestants' 
should be made, because it was ' an idea which spreads like 
wildfire, and diffuses itself like a contagion among the people, 
and engenders a spirit of mortal hatred for the new dynasty.* 

It is not surprising that widespread indignation was excited 
by these unprovoked and unprincipled assaults, or that pressure 
should have been brought upon the French Government to 
remove from the superintendence of the system of elementary 
education newly introduced in Paris two eminent Protestants, 
the loss of whose enlightened services )vas deeply deplored by 
Macaulay and his foreign friends. 


Londofty January yo^ 1816. 

This has been a very busy month with me, having two num- 
bers of the Christian Observer instead of one to carry through 
the press ; and a good deal of both being written by myself, I 
have literally been unable to spare a single moment to anything 
but the urgent matter of the hour. Besides which my interrup- 
tions have been many, and I have had all my nine children at 
home, who, by their clamour and their claims, did not add to my 
leisure. I really feel that I owe you an apology for my neglect. 
I hope you will find it in this brief but veritable statement. 
But, pray, do not permit what I may have said of occupation 
to prevent your using me whenever you feel occasion to do so. 
I can always do the thing you wish, because I have always 
some idle people about me ; but I cannot always write, for that 
is not to be done by proxy. I have just closed my lunar 
labours, and have gained two intercalary days of comparative 
repose, and have besides a prospect of meeting the Royal Duke 
or some other M.P. at the African Institution to-day. 1 medi- 
tate, therefore, a long letter, as you may judge from the size of 
my paper and the closeness of my lines. 

These vile ProtestJ^nts, of London, I mean ! I have just been 
giving an exposi of their unwarrantable and mischievous pro- 


ceeding, and my head is full of them. I must therefore despatch 
them first. They have thrown us back at least twenty years in 
our religious intercourse with France. My brother and myself 
had succeeded in establishing extensive communications for the 
quiet diffusion of the Scriptures in France, and had also suc- 
ceeded in what was more difficult, in gaining the confidence of 
some persons who have proved singularly useful in the promo- 
tion of our plans. All we have done is now put to risk ; we 
view it indeed as undone. The Protestant Society and Sir 
Robert Wilson have ruined us. We must expect no more 
confidence. Indeed, being Englishmen, we have not the face 
to ask it. We feel ourselves sunk, degraded, paralysed. 

You have, ere this, seen dear Stephen's vigorous attack on 
Spain and her Slave Trade. You and your sisters must admire 
its characteristic energy, its high-toned, lofty principle. You 
must know, entre nous, that I have been labouring hard to get 
Stephen back to Parliament. The place I have thought of is 
Colchester, which it is whispered will shortly be vacated. I 
have no doubt of Stephen's success if he would stand, and I 
have taken great pains to persuade him to do so, but he still 
resists, chiefly, however, on the ground of expense. Notwith- 
standing this, I am proceeding in my plan of preparing matters 
for securing his election just as if he had consented, and I have 
got the heads of the religious bodies — Church, Quakers, 
Methodists, etc., and also some strong Abolitionists, both 
Ministerial and Opposition, to reserve themselves for him. His 
opponent will be a violent Democrat and an unprincipled, 
profligate fellow of the name of Harvey, such another as Hunt 
at Bristol. Now my object in all this detail is first to put you 
in possession of the facts of the case, and then to make use of 
you for the promotion of my designs. Could you not in some 
way contrive to ascertain whether, in case we should prevail 
on Stephen to move, Davis ^ would be favourable ; whether, for 
instance, he would be disposed to write to his own particular 
friends there to say that what aid they could give to Stephen, 
without injuring his interests, he would be obliged to them to 
give? This you will see is an important ingredient in our 
estimate of eventual success. I do long to see Stephen in 
Parliament, a free, unfettered, independent man. 

I must tell you another political secret before I turn to more 
domestic topics. Lord Grenville and his friends will shortly 
separate themselves from the Opposition. This you may rely 
upon. It will probably, however, be some weeks before it is 
publicly known, unless the course of the discussions on Thurs- 
day shall force an explosion earlier than is intended. The 
matter, I believe, is known but to few. 

^ Mr. Hart Davis, M.P. for Bristol. 


At Battersea Rise things proceed as well as we could wish. 
The Inglises are very good, and very amiable, and very well 
bred, and they have also very good sense and a great deal of 
heart. They are delighted with their charge and their occupa- 
tions, and seem thoroughly comfortable. A very pleasing and 
affectionate intercourse seems to subsist between them and 
Marianne, and all the others seem to treat them with a very 
satisfactory confidence and respect. Dear Marianne's health 
seems to improve, and I begin to lose my fears about her. Her 
character for sense and piety rises higher as one knows her 
better. She is truly a very superior young woman in all 
respects. Henry also promises very well. As his faculties 
develop, he shows much of the shrewdness and penetration of 
his father*s mind. 

Tom, I think, improves ; I may say in all respects. He 
grows tall, and is stout and healthy. His mind loses none of 
its vigour. He is becoming a very fine classic. He takes 
delight in the Greek tragedians, and has a relish for their 
native beauties. When this task is once acquired, the work is 
done. The pursuit of classical lore ceases to be a task, ut 
becomes a passion. And his thirst for general knowledge con- 
tinues as ardent as ever. I have been most pleased, however, 
with his moral improvement. I think his love of truth has 
acquired very considerable strength, and that he has a disrelish 
for what is low and sensual. He manifests a wakeful and 
unceasing anxiety to obtain his master's approbation and ours. 
May he become equally intent to please his God ! Our other 
children thrive. Indeed there is none among them who is 
not a source of comfort and enjoyment both to their mother 
and myself. Her pains with them are ceaseless, and she reaps 
the fruits of them in their docility and affection. 

May i8, 1816. 
Our Prayer Book and Homily Society grows slowly. Two 
bishops have given in their names, and we are rid of our debts- 
The Meeting was peculiarly pleasing from the honest warmth 
of Churchmanship mixed with Christian candour towards 
others, which was witnessed at it. One of the circumstances of 
deepest interest which transpired was the decree of the Russian 
Emperor to circulate the Bible in the vulgar tongue throughout 
all his dominions. There exists at present no translation in 
vulgar Russian. It is now preparing. Vansittart* told the 
meeting that this was a practical comment on the Christian 
Treaty which had been so much vilified. 

* Right Hon. N. Vansittart, Chancellor of the Exchequer, afterwards Lord Bexlcr. 


I have not time to add much more, for I am a good deal 
hurried, and my friend Mr. Marryatt has just brought out 
another abusive pamphlet which I fear I must answer, but I 
will tell you an anecdote of the Prince of Saxe-Coburg. 
Before his marriage he took occasion to dwell in his letters to 
the Princess on the paramount obligations of religion, and he 
seems disposed to measure the conduct and character of men 
by a Christian standard. But the greatest proof of his firmness 
and courage was his preferring a particular request that in 
preparing the wedding-clothes of the Princess, the petticoats 
might all be made five inches longer than those she then wore. 
She had outgrown them. Wilberforce went to Court on 
Thursday. The Prince and Princess were very gracious to 


London^ August 26, 18 16. 
This is the seventeenth anniversary of our wedding-day — 
an event which brings in the retrospect no painful regrets but 
what arise from a sense of one's own defects, and which has 
been to me a source of great and growing happiness. I desire 
to feel thankful to God for all the fond domestic enjoyment of 
which it has been productive, mixed as it has been with so 
little of domestic sorrow. When I consider this, and count 
over the children whom God has given us, and the pleasing 
hopes He allows us to indulge respecting them, I am ashamed 
to think on the disquiet which external circumstances have too 
frequently occasioned to me, and the influence which the com- 
paratively insignificant trials to which I have been subjected had in clouding my brow and dejecting my spirits. 
Accept, my dear Selina, my heartfelt acknowledgments of all 
your undeviating care and kindness, and forbearance and devo- 
tion, and rest assured of the undiminished warmth of my attach- 
ment, and of my increasing regard and affection. The children 
have all been clamorous for my return to dinner, and I mean to 
indulge them by complying with their wish. To-morrow I 
mean to pay a visit to Hammersmith. On the next day, 
therefore, I shall be able to give you some account of John, 
virho I understand goes on well. 

I should most gladly join you at Barley Wood if I could, but 
the thing is quite impossible. I long much to spend a day or 
two with dear Miss Hannah, and once more to express to her 
ho^v much I value her friendship. I never can forget that it is 
to Iier early friendship I owe, under Providence, in no small 
clegree my wife. 


SepUfttber 1816. 

Patty Smith is certainly possessed of a very superior under- 
standing, and I hope, to use a phrase which she herself abomin- 
ates, is an improving character. She objects with considerable 
force to the kind of graduated scale which the Saints are in the 
habit of applying to all that come within their reach. She 
admits at the same time that things are terribly wrong in the 
circle in which she is called to move ; and she loves the devo- 
tions of the Church of England. I have a real love and 
aflfection for her father, and most anxiously desire his own 
good and that of his children. 

The virulence of our West Indian friends knows no respite. 
The newspapers are filled with their abuse and invectives, and 
they seem only to be more and more at leisure since Parliament 
has been prorogued to carry on their war of personalities. All 
this will be felt to be less than nothing when the transitory 
scene shall close upon us ; and I trust we are all of us very 
content to bear the reproach now, for the sake of the cause in 
which we receive it 

Mr. William Smith, M.P. for Norwich, a strong Abolitionist 
and a Unitarian, had lived at Clapham during the first few 
years of the century, and become very intimate with Macaulay. 
He was the grandfather of Miss Florence Nightingale. 

One burden was lifted from Macaulay 's heavily laden shoul- 
ders towards the end of the year 18 16, when he resigned the 
Editorship of the Christian Observer^ having secured a com- 
petent successor in the Rev. Samuel Wilks. But although he 
was relieved from the labour and responsibility of editing the 
Magazine, he continued to write constantly in its pages upon 
slavery and other subjects. 


London^ May 31, 1817. 
Our project for the holidays is, if my engagements will then 
admit of it, and God will, to visit Scotland. I have scarcely 
seen it since I was sixteen. I wish to show it to my wife and 
to Tom. Its stupendous scenery, so much unlike anything he 
has ever seen — the realisation of what seem but the daydreams 
of poets — cannot fail to interest and, I hope, to improve him. 
In that land of our fathers I have also many dear and valued 
friends who will rejoice to see me and mine, and to whom I 
shall be glad to make them known. 


It would have been impossible indeed even to have thought 
of this journey, had I not succeeded in obtaining a substitute 
for the Christian Observer, In that capacity Wilks, I should 
hope, will do well. He is quick in conception and has a ready 
pen ; and on the whole, as an editor, I have rather a strong 
expectation that he will do well. I am quite sure that if he 
will give his mind, as well as time to it, he may greatly raise it. 
In one respect, however, Wilks has sadly disappointed me. 
I mean as a preacher. He has chosen to extemporise, and that 
at Clapham ; and nothing can be less interesting, and more 
crude and vapid than some of his exhibitions. This is quite 
inexcusable. I have freely and unreservedly told him my 
mind upon this point, and I have no doubt that if Dealtry were 
absent for three months instead of one, we should lose :i tliird 
of the congregation, provided Wilks did not mend. He seems, 
however, conscious of the error into which he has fallen, and I 
look confidently for better things. He behaved very amiably 
when I explained to him my feelings, and expressed an inten- 
tion of writing his sermons in future, and also of bestowing 
more mind upon them. He has acquired, besides, a bad 
manner in preaching, although he reads the service pretty well. 
This evidently is the effect of extemporising. He has more 
the air of a man making a speech at a public meeting than of a 
minister preaching to dying men and perishing souls. I have 
mentioned this to him also. He ought, I think, to go to Thel- 
wall for some instruction in speaking, but this I have not 
ventured to say. 

Our great meetings this year have certainly been better con- 
ducted than I have ever known them. Of Wilberforce, always 
seraphic, and the good Bishop* I need say nothing. Sir 
Thomas Acland did well and spiritedly. Young Clayton, the 
Dissenter, was ingenious and gentlemanlike, and quite redeemed 
the Dissenting, character from the generality at least of the 
imputation of coarseness. Watson, the Wesleyan Methodist, 
spoke with singular delicacy and feeling, and with a degree of 
good taste that would have done credit even to such a man as 
Reg^inald Heber. He is certainly both an able and an honest 
ma.n. A Dr. Mason from New York burst upon us with a wild 
and erratic magnificence that brought to my mind the mammoth 
bounding over the Andes. It was quite new, and on the whole 
urell sustained, but it was American, and to them a little rant 
may be pardoned. It was not a little amusing to hear an 
AmcTic^xi divine preaching to a British audience on the duties 
of loyalty, recommending it to them to honour the King, and 
not to meddle with those given to change. 

^ Ryder, Bishop of Gloucester and Dean of Wells. 


London^ November 7, 1817. 
What an awful occurrence is this which has burst upon us ! M 
met the Cabinet Ministers yesterday as they were separating 
from the Council Chamber. They appeared to have been in 
tears. Lord Bathurst seemed deeply affected. I spoke to Mr. 
Vansittart He grasped my hand with that sort of convulsive 
agitation which marked the deepest tone of feeling, and could 
hardly utter a word. A deep and solemn gloom seems to 
pervade this great capital where so many things are hourly 
occurring to chase it away. What must it be in a retreat 
like yours, where there is time for anatomising the whole 
case.' Two things are consolatory. One is that yours was 
the last book she read in her state of pupilage ; another, that 
since her marriage she has been quite domesticated, and her 
husband, I have heard, is a man of much right religious feeling. 
What a blessing may this marriage prove to her ! It has been 
the means indeed, apparently, of depriving her of an earthly 
crown. It is not impossible, one may at least hope, that it may 
have been the means of preparing her for a heavenly crown. 

London^ December z\^ 1817. 

We are much pleased with your friends the Hubers. They 
passed last Sunday with us, and heard Dealtry preach twice. 
One of his sermons was in his very best style, and they 
appeared struck with it. The other was a familiar exposition 
of a passage of Scripture for his poorer afternoon congregation, 
but, though plain, it was in good taste. 

I have been taking some pains about Geneva, and have 
induced the Church Missionary Society to undertake to look 
out for a suitable person. The situation requires the union of 
such rare talents, that I protest, unless we can induce Owen ^ or 
Charles Hoare to expatriate themselves for a year or two, I 
see no hope. If one of them would migrate thither, the 
chapter of accidents, or rather the Providence of God, would 
probably provide a successor. 

Tom returned home ye&terday in good health. He has 
grown a good deal in the last half-year, and has reached very 
nearly his father's height. He is improved in manner, and 
Preston speaks of him with unqualified commendation. I en- 
deavour to impress upon him the importance of attending to 
minuteness if he would do great things well, a rule applicable 
not merely to literature, but to morals and religion also. This 

* The death of Princess Charlotte. 

■ * I do not think Patty had dry eyes for a fortnight.* — Mrs. H. More to Mis. 
' The Rev. John Owen, Secretary of the Bible Society. 


is precisely the kind of discipline of which he stands especially 
in need. I have a very precise methodical servant whom I 
took with me into Scotland. He was out of all patience with 
Tom's want of method, and read him some very serious lectures 
on the subject, which I fear, however, did not make a deep 


I j>ndony January 5, 18 18. 
I have read your Review of Miss Taylor's Essays^ twice over, 
with care. I have read her whole volume once, and many parts 
twice, thrice, and even four times, with no less care ; and am 
now, in my own conceit at least, qualified to pass some judg- 
ment both on the Poet and the Reviewer. I confess that I am 
a little disposed to question the justice of those rules of criticism 
which would measure the excellence of works of imagination 
merely by the moral, and which would therefore place Lalla 
Rookh in disadvantageous contrast as a poetical work with 
Essays in Rhynu. How would such a mode of judging answer 
in the case of painting or sculpture, sister arts ? Place a paint- 
ing of the Last Judgment, which was a mere daub, side by side 
with some voluptuous piece of one of the great masters of the 
Italian School. You might turn from the latter with disgust, 
but you would never recommend the former to the notice of 
amateurs. Essays must not, of necessity, be written in rhyme ; 
and if so written, they should have much beyond their moral to 
recommend them. The characters in Law's Serious Colly or 
Rowland Hill's Village Dialogues^ or Hannah More's Ccelebs, do 
very well, and produce a very good effect where they are. If 
removed from their present position in order to be versified, it 
certainly is not sufficient that the lines run smoothly and give 
no violent offence to a musical ear. Still things must be sung 
as well as said. And although I would not think of turning 
from our prose translations of the Psalms to Sternhold and 
Hopkins for the pleasures of the imagination, yet doubtless 
Sternhold and Hopkins will attract readers when the prose 
translation would not. Still I should never think of bringing 
these gentlemen forward in contrast with Dryden or Pope, 
polluting as their pages often are, or recommending their 
poetry because the moral of it was good. Much of what I 
have said is certainly not strictly applicable to the point in 
hand, except in the way of illustration. Miss Taylor has cer- 
tainly written very sensibly and piously ; and she has clothed 

* Essays in Rhyme on Morals and Manners , by Jane Taylor, 1816. 


her sentiments in very tolerable rhymes, but not in better, I 
should think, than (independent of their moral) might be 
written by scores of men and women. I say independent of 
their moral, for, after all, if we do not insist on Moralists rising 
above mediocrity with poetry in which they may choose to clothe 
their thoughts, we shall be inundated with moral and religious 
poetasters. Miss Taylor's poetry is, however, sufficiently re- 
spectable to entitle her to publish it. This I fully admit; but 
then I think you give her too high a place when you would 
bring her into contact with Cowper. She may possibly rank 
with Kirke White, Montgomery, and Gisborne, but to me she 
appears not to reach some of them, and she falls far below 
Charles Grant, and Heber, and Wilson (in his City of th 




The deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Thornton had broken almost the 

last link which held Macaulay to Clapham. Already the 

greater number of the members who had composed the coterie 

surrounding the Common, the Wilberforces, Grants, Stephens 

and Teignmouths, had dispersed to residences in different parts 

of London : and although Macaulay still paid frequent visits 

to Battersea Rise, where the kind and hospitable Sir Robert 

Inglis was established with his wife as guardians to the young 

Thorntons, yet the tie which had hitherto bound him to 

Clapham Common was severed. He began to consider the 

convenience in his busy life of taking up his abode in London ; 

and accordingly early in 1818 the household removed to 

Cadogan Place, a situation selected partly for the advantage 

of the neighbourhood to Wilberforce's house in Kensington 

Gore. Two more children had been added to his number: 

Margaret, who was from early childhood unusually lovely 

and attractive ; and Charles, the youngest of the family, who 

was born in 1813. 

Macaulay fulfilled his duties as a parent and head of a 

family with great attention and exactitude. The education 

and characters of his children were his constant study, and 

any circumstances which concerned their spiritual and moral 

weJfare were carefully noted and taken advantage of by him. 

But it will have been gathered from his correspondence that 

his eldest son occupied the largest share in his thoughts and 

affections, although, with the exception of his wife, the only 

individual to whom he permitted himself the indulgence of 

expatia.ting upon Tom's merits and Tom's abilities was his old 

and sympathetic friend, Mrs. Hannah More. It is plain that 

n his strictly conscientious performance of duty he had made 

ip liis nciind that the uncommon powers of mind evinced by 


the boy formed a special call upon him as a father to exercise 
the most minute care in training and fitting him for any career 
which he might select. At one time he fondly cherished the 
hope of seeing this beloved son devote himself to the Church 
and take Orders, but it appears that he did not endeavour 
beyond certain limits to influence the young man's choice 
of a profession, and that he confined himself to preparing the 
instrument for whatever service might be destined for it. 

As the period approached when the boy must quit the shelter 
of Aspenden Hall for the larger sphere of the University, the 
anxiety of the father knew no bounds. He pondered deeply 
and took much advice upon the best way of shielding his son 
from the dangers which he foreshadowed for him there, and 
of preparing him for the distinction which he hoped that he 
was destined to achieve. Many were the letters which passed 
upon the subject. George Stainforth, a young Cambridge 
student whose career of high promise was cut short by an early 
death, and who was the son of a member of the former Claphara 
coterie, was applied to for his assistance. In an amusing letter 
to a member of his own family, Stainforth, after stating that 
Tom Macaulay would be a pupil of no ordinary attainments, 
and that it would require more time and exertion on his own 
part to render him any effectual service in his studies than he 
could well afford to surrender with the prospect of a Trinity 
Fellowship examination before him, goes on to say that with 
the sincere respect, even veneration, which he felt for Mr. 
Macaulay he would wish to gratify him in every particular, and 
that he has no hesitation in believing that Mr. Macaulay would 
be certain to disapprove of the companions Tom would meet 
if placed under his care at Cambridge. 

However, by perseverance all difficulties were overcome, a.nd 
Stainforth devoted himself for a time during the long vacation 
entirely to his young pupil, who retained in after life a great 
admiration for his abilities. It was arranged that Tom should 
reside at Clapham with Stain forth's family for the last, feu- 
months before going to the University, and only pay occasional 
visits to his own home ; and before these visits took place 
letters always piassed with his father, carefully weighing the 
advantages and disadvantages likely to result from eact^ inter- 
ruption to the course of study. 


When the time arrived for the lad to go to Cambridge 
Macau lay accompanied him, and he wrote a pretty letter from 
Cambridge to Mrs. Macaulay detailing the purchases which he 
and Tom had made together, and recounting how, according to 
prearrangement, he had settled Tom in lodgings with Henry 
Thornton, the eldest son of his lamented friend, — how Tom and 
Henry seemed to take much to each other, — how their tutor 
Mr. Browne promised to 'select among the thirty laundresses of 
Trinity College one of exemplary virtue for our youths,' — and 
the measures which he took to prevent any association beyond 
the merest civility with certain cousins who had asked Tom to 
take a walk with them, but whose characters did not meet with 
his father's approval. 


London^ March 23, 181 8. 
I received this morning the enclosed letter from the Rev. Mr 
Gallaudet/ for whose acquaintance I have you to thank. He is 
a very valuable man, and possesses, along with a powerful and 
well-furnished mind, a better taste than usually falls to the lot 
of Anglo-Americans. A very useful and rather superior volume 
of sermons by this gentleman, dedicated to you, is about to 
appear in this country. 

You were right in supposing that Thomas's ^ protest was but 
the signal for battle. It has now become very evident that the 
hostility of the worldly part of our hierarchy to true religion is 
deep and inveterate. At the same time I feel nothing dismayed 
by this discovery. I am only anxious that those who are sound 
in doctrine and right in principle may also be correct in con- 
duct, and particularly that they may make their moderation 
known unto all men. If they do, they must gain by the 
struggle ; for the very violence and fury of the adverse party, 
if allowed to run their course, must defeat their ends. I am 
ten times more afraid of ourselves than I am of them. How 
much more injury, for example, is done to the cause of true 
religion by the hastiness and want of a kind and conciliatory 

» Rev. T. H. Gallaudet, Principal of the Asylum for the Education of the Deaf 
and Oumb in Connecticut, U.S.A. He had been residing for some time in Paris in 
order to acquaint himself with the system of the Abbe Sicard. 

s Xlie Rev. Josiah Thomas, Archdeacon of Bath, had caused great consternation 
by introducing himself into a Meeting called by the supporters of the Church 
MissioiMury Society in December 1817 and delivering a protest against the establish- 
ment of such a Society in the city of Bath. The Bishop of Gloucester was in the 
chair at the time, which made the Archdeacon's conduct still more significant. 


spirit shown in the letters dear John Sargent ^ has published by 
way of defence, than by all the petulant and malignant effusions 
of Lloyd or of his curate. 

My brother has lately been kissing the Pope's hand. He was 
very graciously received. He tells me that an Irish gentleman 
belonging to the Propaganda had lately a discussion with an 
Italian Catholic as to the salvability of heretics. The Irishman, 
having many Protestant relations, was unwilling to consign 
them over to wholesale destruction. He accordingly deter- 
mined to refer the matter to his Holiness. * My son,* says the 
old man, * whoever is seeking the truth with all his heart is a 
member of the Catholic Church, whatever be his name.' I wish 
our English popes were half as liberal. 


Barley Wood^ April ii, 1818. 
Poor dear Marianne ! I believe her conscience is tender, for 
she was guilty of a little disingenuousness. She never wrote 
me a syllable of her intention till the very day before she set 
out, and then told me it would be too late for me to answer her 
as she should be gone the next day, but begged me to write 
her some warnings when she was abroad. I would speak with 
all due tenderness, but I must say that three visits to France 
within two years of the death of her excellent mother is not a 
good example for Henry Thornton's daughter. I am sure it 
would be painful to her incomparable friends and protectors, 
the Inglises. 

The good old lady's animadversions did not meet with sym- 
pathy from Macaulay, who in any case would have been unwill- 
ing to admit that Henry Thornton's eldest daughter, for whom 
he cherished an hereditary affection and admiration, could do 
wrong. But on this occasion he had given his particular 
approval to the proposed expedition to France with some 
friends as likely to be beneficial to the health and spirits of a 
girl who, before she was eighteen, had been called upon to pass 
through the furnace of affliction, and whose present position 
entailed upon her much care and responsibility. He assured 
Mrs. H. More that Sir Robert and Lady Inglis were themselves 
much addicted to travelling in France, and were delighted that 
Marianne should have the opportunity of a short change of 

* Rev. John Sargent, rector of Lavington, and author of the Mtmoir tf Henry 


scene. Mrs. Hannah More herself was an excellent French 
scholar, and had an extensive knowledge of French literature. 
Lord Macaulay once related an anecdote which she had told 
him of her going, in her early life, during one of her visits to 
the Garricks, to a bookseller's shop in London, and of hearing, 
while she was turning over books, a gentleman, who was in 
conversation with the owner of the shop, at a loss for the 
French word for mahogany. She came forward and supplied 
acajou, upon which the gentleman requested an introduction, 
and to her dismay she found her interlocutor to be the notorious 
John Wilkes. He was so enchanted by her ready wit that he 
followed her from the shop, and begged to have the honour of 
continuing the acquaintance. 

Mrs. H. More's letter, proceeding as it did from a woman of 
unusual cultivation and who had mixed at one time largely in 
the world, is a remarkable instance of the strong prejudice 
which existed at that period in England against the French 
nation. Macaulay, who had many friends on the other side of 
the Channel, was constantly engaged in combating this preju- 
dice, and in refusing to insert inaccurate and detrimental attacks 
upon the French people, and French literature, in the Christian 
Observer. Upon one among many such occasions he writes to 
a friend who had urged him to reconsider his refusal, and to 
ask the Editor, who always treated his requests as commands, 
to insert a particular article : 

'The author has sadly overloaded his picture. I can say 
most honestly, and I know many whose experience exactly 
tallies with mine, that to my eyes Paris was far less offensive in 
point of profligacy than London, and infinitely more decorous. 
Besides he makes no distinctions. He allows of no travelling 
out of England. Surely this is to shut up many sources of 
improvement. He would have been much more successful had 
he been more measured and less declamatory.' 


London^ April 17, 181 8. 
MV DEAR Friend, — I never suffered myself to feel an hour's 
disquiet about Mr. Archdeacon Thomas's movements. I did 
not entertain a moment's doubt that it would tend to good. 
And now in two or three short months behold the effect. The 
list of our Society's friends as well as its funds are swelled 


beyond expectation. Persons have become subscribers and 
advocates who had scarcely heard of its existence until this 
controversy arose, while it has taken a firmer hold than ever 
of the attachment and affections of its former friends. This, 
however, is but a small part of the good thus done. Our Bishops 
are roused from their dead sleep. Heathen nations have at 
length become the object of their professed concern ; and if 
even of envy and strife they send forth Missionaries to carry 
abroad the everlasting Gospel, therein I will rejoice. The 
Society for propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, you pro- 
bably know, have appointed a committee of three persons, the 
Bishop of London, Dr. Watson, and the Bishop of Gloucester, 
to prepare a Report as to what should be done by the Societ)' 
in the way of Missions, and to prepare also an address to the 
nation calling on all good Churchmen to concur in Christianising 
the world. They are also some months hence to have a King's 
letter requiring sermons to be preached and collections to be 
made for the object in every church and chapel in the kingdom. 
What a recognition of the duty of evangelising the heathen! 
Even if they should fail in effecting great things, or in obtaining 
pious Missionaries, they will have settled for ever the question 
of the propriety of Missionary efforts. The duty of engaging 
in them will have been solemnly recognised by the highest 
authorities in the State. The work in one sense will have 
become national, I own that this view of the subject does 
console me for all that has taken place. But if we go further, 
and suppose that pious Missionaries may be found and sent 
forth, then we may look forward not merely to the direct good 
which such men may effect among the heathen, but to the 
reflected influence of their efforts and of their relations of those 
effects on the minds of our Archbishops and Bishops and 
Clergy. There also will they feel how surprisingly the Bible 
Society has prepared their way, and their prejudices cannot 
but soften. 


Cambridge^ October 23, 1818. 
My dear Father,— I would have written earlier had I had 
anything to communicate, which, however, is not even now the 
case; so that all my information be that I am alive, and 
well and comfortable, that Cambridge is a strict exemplifica- 
tion of the old maxim, Magna urbsy magna solitudo^ and that 1 
live among my small circle of friends as familiarly and as 
quietly as if we were in a desert island. I have resolved to 
have no second order of acquaintance, no deputy-friends who 



torment each other and themselves by ceremonies which 
only betray the coolness of their regard, and by a measured 
interchange of the dullest visits. I will be social and not 

I could not trust myself to say and can hardly venture to 
write all I feel upon entering on this world of hazard and 
danger and competition and honour. The evils of Cambridge, 
from all that I have been able to learn, are evils which must be 
sought, and from such a depth of moral degradation I trust 
that the goodness of God, my own education, and the connec- 
tions which I have formed will preserve me. Its honourable 
distinctions are, it seems, the hard-earned, but the certain fruit 
of exertion and perseverance. If I would not willingly fail of 
attaining to some share in them, I trust it is not from selfish 
motives. I am sure I never valued any human applause so 
much as your quiet approbation, nor desired any human 
rewards so much as your pleasure in my success. And I am 
far less desirous to return loaded with medals or distinguished 
on the tripos-paper, than to acquire here those accomplishments 
and that information which may qualify me to inherit your 
public objects, and to succeed to your benevolent enterprises. 
There is an anecdote in Roman history which always affected 
me much. Fabius, who when he was a child had been carried 
on his father's knee on his triumphal entry into Rome, insisted 
that when he himself came home with similar honours his 
father should enter his chariot, and share the honours of his 
son. I never had a higher ambition than that we might, if it 
please God, triumph together over the enemies of humanity, 
a^nd I will do my utmost to obtain those weapons of assault 
and that armour of defence which literature furnishes for such 
contests in this seat of its dominion. 

My dear mother, I send you my most affectionate love. My 
dear Jane, are your tears dry? I kiss you with my * mind's 
lips.' Farewell. T. B. M. 


I am glad to find that the Bishop of Bristol* courts your 

correspondence. I would it might tend, poor man, to quicken 

liinn in his spiritual course. And yet he has considerable 

susceptibility of mind. When in Scotland about three or four 

ycSLrs ago with his daughters, he came in the evening to a 

51X13.11 inn in the Highlands, which proved to be so full as to be 

altog^ether incapable of receiving another visitor. The Bishop 

ancJ his party were much distressed ; the night threatened to 

^ Dr. Muisel, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. 


be boisterous, and no resource seemed to remain but that of 
sleeping in their carriage. The minister of the parish, an old 
and valued friend of mine, Dr. Maclntyre, who himself told mc 
the anecdote, hearing that an English Bishop was thus circum- 
stanced, went to the inn and brought him and his daughters to 
the manse, where he entertained them with true Highland 
hospitality. After supper he begged the Bishop to go to 
prayer. This the Bishop declined. My friend, then about 
eighty, having called his family together and read a portion of 
Scripture, poured out his heart in prayer, and prayed at some 
length and with much feeling for the Bishop and his daughters. 
At the conclusion the Bishop was in tears — he seemed quite 
melted, and talked of nothing else during the rest of the 
evening but the folly of sacrificing the pure and substantial 
joys flowing from religion for all the world had to bestow. In 
the morning he showed the Bishop his church, and while 
viewing it said to him : * My Lord, will it be too much if I ask 
the favour of your filling my pulpit for a few seconds and 
giving your blessing to me and my people.' The Bishop 
mounted without hesitation, and raising up his hands to heaven 
and spreading them abroad, implored with fervour a blessing 
on the good old man and his flock. He seemed much affected. 
After breakfast he was going away, when Dr. Maclntyre said to 
him : * My Lord, you have given me and my people your 
episcopal benediction : permit me, an old man tottering on the 
verge of eternity, to give to you and yours, before we part, never 
perhaps to see each other more, my blessing. He read the 
ninety-first psalm with a few simple comments, and then knelt 
down and commended the Bishop and his daughters to God and 
his grace. The Bishop said he should never forget the lessons 
of important instruction he had received at Glenorchy, nor the 
lessons of Christian kindness and charity towards those who 
might differ from us in external forms which his short stay 
there had taught him. * I trust,' said he, turning to his 
daughters, ' that you and I will be the better for our unlooked- 
for but providential meeting with Dr. Maclntyre as long as we 


London^ October 26, 1818. 

I explained to you in a former letter what we had done 
with a view to complete the abolition of the Slave Trade at 
the Congress. I have now to state the progress that has been 

When Mr. Clarkson reached Aix-la-Chapelle he communi- 


cated both to Lord Castlereagh and the Duke of Wellington 
the address of which I sent you a copy. Lord Castlereagh 
pledged himself to nothing specific, but he promised to do all 
he could for our object. The Duke was more decided. He 
said the Portuguese must absolutely be forced to give up the 
trade. * They must do it* He was very indignant with them 
and the French also. He saw no reason why the Slave Trade 
should not be declared piracy. It was its proper designation. 
And he would do his utmost to forward the object. 

Clarkson had a long interview with Alexander, who gave 
him a cordial reception. He told Clarkson that it was not to 
be endured that Portugal should continue to resist the united 
wishes of Europe by retaining the Slave Trade for a single 
hour after all the other nations had abandoned it. * I take 
shame to myself,' he observed with a strong expression of 
humiliation, * before God, that from too great an anxiety to main- 
tain concord at Vienna we should have left there this great work 
unfinished. It was a great and criminal omission, and it must 
not be repeated. We must now overrule all objections, and 
have an early and universal extinction put to this dreadful 
traffic. When I consider what I owe to the unmerited kindness 
of the Almighty, who by His providence rescued me and my 
people from the oppressor who threatened to overwhelm us, I 
feel that I should be the most ungrateful and inexcusable of 
human beings if I did not labour with all my might to liberate 
others still more oppressed, and especially our wretched 
brethren in Africa. Count upon me in this matter.' Much 
more passed on this subject equally honourable to him and 
cheering to us. 

The Emperor conversed with Clarkson on other subjects, 

among others on the schemes of Owen of Lanark, who is now 

at Aix-la-Chapelle presenting memorials with his works to the 

assembled monarchs. In substance what he said may be thus 

given : — * I altogether disapprove of Mr. Owen's views and 

plans. He proceeds on the assumption that man may become 

a perfect being even here. Who that knows his own heart and 

the demands of God's law would ever dream of this. I have 

learnt for some time at least that to make men good is the 

work of the Holy Spirit, and of him alone, and none but those 

who pray earnestly for His aid and cherish His influence can 

ever attain any degree of real goodness in this life. Mr. Owen 

also insists much on certain facts as proving his theory. But 

facts in the hands of such a man are anything he chooses to 

make them. I distrust all such facts as contradict Scripture. 

This is the fountain whence we must draw our knowledge of 

mSLTk^s real state by nature, his possibilities of improvement, 


and his future destiny, and all that is inconsistent with this 
must be rejected as false. Mr. Owen's defect, after all, seems 
more of the head than the heart He appears to me deranged 
in his intellects.' 

He spoke also of the Peace Societies to the following effect: 
— '' Expecting, as I certainly do, the arrival of a period when, 
through the prevalence of the Gospel, nations shall learn war 
no more, I cannot disapprove of any societies who propose to 
hasten so desirable a consummation. I had hoped at one time 
to connect with the Holy Alliance a plan of arbitrating national 
differences so as to avoid all future appeals to arms, but things 
were not ripe for it. As an approach to it I mean to propose 
that, as the sovereigns of Europe now know each other as 
friends, there shall a meeting take place between them once in 
every three years for the general objects of redressing wrongs, 
conciliating differences, checking tendencies to war, removing 
causes of discontent, and advising with each other as to the 
means of preserving the general tranquillity, promoting the 
general happiness, and diffusing knowledge, civilisation and 
the blessed light of religion throughout the world.' 

What shall we say to all this ? What but rejoice together, 
and prostrate ourselves in thankful adoration before Him who 
has the hearts of all in His hands, and has prepared this 
mighty instrument of His mercy and grace. 

I went down with Tom to Cambridge last week, and have 
settled him very comfortably at College. He and Henry 
Thornton have their apartments under one roof and by them- 
selves, and they have taken to each other in a way that is very 
gratifying. The tutor I have got for him is George Stainforth, 
a son of our friend and neighbour, and an early schoolfellow of 
Tom's, who feels warmly interested in his success, and who has 
highly distinguished himself as a classic. He has one or two 
other valuable and hard-working friends living close to hina, 
and he seems disposed to follow my recommendation of con- 
fining himself for the present pretty much to this small circle 
I had a letter from him two days ago which is promising : may 
the progress and end correspond to the beginning ! Pray write 
him a line when you can to strengthen him. He will receive 
with filial reverence whatever you say to him. 

We have got into a very comfortable house, within one mile 
of Wilberforce and Stephen, and not quite two miles from the 
Babingtons in Downing Street. I have returned to town for 
an important cause which I have to conduct about Slave Trade, 
and have besides decided on prosecuting Thorpe for his last 



Cadogan Place^ November 24, 1818. 

Another letter arrived yesterday from Tom which I enclose. 
It is addressed to his sister Jane, and has given me almost 
more gratification than any else I have received from him. 
Every word is so appropriate and so kind and so judicious. 
May God preserve him in his present apparent purity and sim- 
plicity of mind. 

I send you besides a pamphlet in French from dear, in- 
defatigable Stephen's pen. The French is corrupt in some 
places, but nothing can hide out his powerful mind, his vivid 
feelings of manly indignation, his bold and fearless avowal of 
Christian principles. I bless God for having formed such 
friendships as that of Stephen's. One such is a compensation 
for a thousand Thorpes and Marryatts united. 

We are getting settled by degrees and comfortably settled. 
In all probability this will be our latest earthly sojourn. May 
it prove a scene of daily preparation for a better. 

Inglis, I find, means to see you in the course of a week. He 
has long ardently desired it. His wife will be with him. They 
are without exception the kindest people I ever knew. They 
have many estimable qualities and endowments. True kindness, 
gentleness, courtesy, everything that can flow from genuine 
and undissembled Christian affection and Christian humility 
in union, distinguish them in a very marked degree. 


I Queen Square^ April 13, 18 19. 
My DEAR Sir, — I am very much obliged to you for the in- 
formation which your kind letter has just communicated to me. 
I do not think it at all unreasonable that Mr. Grant should be 
careful to receive real co-operation in the business over which 
he presides. There must be a governing authority somewhere, 
3Lt\<^ if those who were the head should always be counteracted 
t>y those who are the subordinates, there would be nothing but 
a.narchy and confusion. If I were to accept an office which in 
its very constitution implied that it was an office for carrying 
into effect the will of another, I should think it not my duty, 
but a violation of my duty, to attempt to make it an instrument 
fc>r giving effect to my will in counteraction to his. I did not 
3.1 low myself to think of this office without considering the 

1 >Cr. James Mill had published in 1818 the History of India. In May 1819 he 
i%'a3 a.p>pointed assistant to the Examiner of Indian correspondence. 


difference in some points (and after all they are not many) 
between my views of the mode of governing India and those 
of Mr. Grant ; and without being satisfied that I could con- 
sciously become that sort of instrument in his hands which the 
nature of the office implies. I may perhaps fancy that in some 
things some difference of mode might be attended with better 
effects (I put it as an hypothetical case) ; but if, in the present 
state of things, I see nothing better than the plans of Mr. 
Grant which have any chance of being carried into effect, there 
could be no reason in such a case why I should not do what 
lies in me to carry them into effect in the most perfect manner. 
And, in fact, I have no manner of doubt, if my qualifications 
proved to his mind in other respects, that we should proceed 
harmoniously together. I do not by any means say that it is 
impossible I could in an office receive a command from the 
superior of that office which I should not think it my duty to 
obey. But if I could not obey I should think it my duty to 
resign, certainly not to endeavour by means either direct or 
indirect to give efficacy to my will in opposition to his. These 
are my sentiments, and most assuredly my conduct should be 
correspondent to them. But I know not well how they may 
best be vouched for to Mr. Grant. 

All I know of the Board of Control is, that Mr. Canning, 
I am told, speaks favourably of my book ; but I have never 
been introduced either to him or to Courtney, and I know not 
how far they would be disposed to recommend a man whose 
opinions are, in many respects, so different from their own. 

I have nearly finished the Life of Dr. Buchanan, and shall 
probably knock at your door with it some morning early 
enough to catch you. — I am, with sincere thanks, my dear sir, 
most truly yours, J. MiLU 


London^ May 8, 1819. 
Since I last wrote to you I have been daily mending, both 
in health and spirits, and am now pretty much in my ordinary 
state of being, making some allowance for the exhaustion of 
the past week. At the Meeting of the Bible Society, Wilber- 
force was exquisite. Age, instead of damping the wings of 
his imagination, seems to have lent them new elasticity. It 
was the expansion and elevation of a spirit freed from its cor- 
poreal trammels and mundane feelings, and while it exulted 
itself in the goodness of God, and in the opening prosjjects ot 
the Saviour's Kingdom, communicated to ever>' other spirit 
a sympathetic glow of spiritual affection and heavenly aspira- 


tion. His very countenance seemed irradiated with the light 
of heaven, and his voice spoke in every tone its accents. 
The Chief Secretary for Ireland ^ attended, and surpassed in 
the vividness of his eloquence anything I had before heard 
from him. The Duke of Gloucester was there and acquitted 
himself very creditably. He was quite astonished at the 
immensity of the crowd, and particularly struck with the burst 
of honest and heartfelt loyalty which resounded through every 
part of the Hall on some allusion being made by Charles 
Grant to the King. We had a Professor Kief from Paris, who 
stated himself to be commissioned by the French Government 
to assure us of their cordial favour and encouragement, and 
who brought with him three copies of the Turkish Testament 
which he had just finished at the expense of the Society, and 
for distribution in Turkey with the sanction of the French 
Government. I should be delighted to go down to you to 
talk over these and other matters at length, but I am at 
present tied to my post, as my nephew, who has been working 
very hard for the last six months, is gone with his wife to 
see the beauties of the Rhine. 

Matlock^ August 31, 18 19. 
Here we are for a few days a party of nine. Mr. and Mrs. 
Babington and their two daughters are visiting us, and we are 
enjoying the romantic scenery and luxurious tranquillity of 
this delightful spot At the end of the week we part. I pro- 
ceed to Manchester, and thence to Scotland on business. The 
rest of the party, after seeing Chatsworth and Haddon, will 
return to the Temple until the time comes for Selina and all 
tier children to go to Cadogan Place. 

I trust I shall find Manchester and its vicinity in a less 

Ignited state than it has been in for some time past, and which 

I cannot help attributing in no small degree to the criminal 

supineness of the Government in not having more vigilantly 

]3.boured to repress the host of seditious writers, the Black 

JPzvarfs} MedusaSy Deists, Observers, (not meaning, of course, 

oric^ Observer^ which have been so industriously exciting the 

evils which now threaten to overwhelm the country. I do not 

thiJnk they are guiltless if they are induced by the intimidation 

of parliamentary speeches, or the apprehension of verdicts of 

acquittal, to abstain from applying themselves to the radical 

^^ctirpation of these grand germinal movers of sedition and 

j-ebcllion. They are awakening at length, I trust, to a sense of 

thei*" duty in this respect When I have seen Manchester, and 

i Claries Grant, afterwards Lord Glenelg. 

« Tl^e Black Dwarf, a London weekly publication edited by Richard Carlile. 


passed a day or two with Brougham at his castle on the 
border, which I mean to do in my way to Scotland, I shall 
be able, perhaps, to say more on this subject 

I have read your Sketches ^ with care, and I hope with profit, 
and I trust they will prove extensively useful. It would not, 
however, be honest in me not to say that I do not go along 
with you in what you say of Foreign travel with the same 
unqualified acquiescence with which I am disposed to adopt 
your sentiments on other points. However, even there, I less 
object to the sentiment than to the somewhat harsh and hostile 
air with which France is treated. I should have already put 
the book into the hands of half-a-dozen pious Frenchmen, but 
that I fear there are passages in it which would seem to them 
to go so far beyond the truth of the case, and to show so much 
of unkind feeling towards them as to excite a strong prejudice 
against your other works. I am quite sure you did not mean 
this, and I am quite sure also that this hostile and forbidding 
air might without much difficulty be changed in a future edition 
for one more conciliating, for one which, without compromising 
your own opinions, might make French readers feel at once the 
justice of the opinion, and the kindly feeling of the writer. 
The readers of English in France are now very numerous, and 
your writings are very likely to get into very general use among 
them. I feel, therefore, exceedingly solicitous that even their 
prejudices should be a little studied at least in the manner of 
dealing with them. I know you will forgive me for this 
remark, which is called forth by a strong desire to extend your 
usefulness in a country which more, perhaps, than any other, 
stands in need of you ; and for doing good to which I agree 
with Mr. Wilberforce in thinking that you are perhaps better 
adapted than any other English writer. 

The close of the long reign of George III., and the beginning 
of that of his successor, were marked by a gloomy and threaten- 
ing state of the political atmosphere, and Macaulay shared to 
the full the anxious forebodings with which serious men watched 
the signs of the times. His disposition and acquired experi- 
ence, and a natural love of order led him always to entertain a 
decided inclination to range himself on the side of constitutional 
authority, and he regarded with unqualified reprobation the 
part taken in public affairs by the Radicals. He expressed 
frequently to his correspondents the conviction which he felt 
that evil days were at hand for England ; and on one occasion 

* Moral Sketches of prevailing Opinions and Manners^ Foreign and Domestic. By 
Hannah More. 1 819. 


he clothed the ideas which occupied his mind somewhat 
quaintly by writing that the whole enginery of irreligion and 
sedition were playing upon our institutions, civil and ecclesi- 
astical, and that every experiment of sap and mine was 
employing to upbear the foundations of the social edifice. His 
disgust against the advanced section of politicians was further 
excited by the partisanship shown by the Radicals for Queen 
Caroline, whose proceedings had excited his utmost abhorrence ; 
and this feeling was a good cleal intensilfied by the new relations 
which he had now formed on the Continent, where no toleration 
was shown for the public indecorum of her conduct. 


London^ February i8, 1820. 
London exhibited on Wednesday a sad and solemn aspect.^ 
The day was gloomy. The churches were hung with black, 
and they were crowded to fulness with congregations in the 
deepest mourning. The impression of filial veneration and 
regret was certainly very strong. 

You have heard of the King's difference with his Ministers. 
The subject was the divorce. He, I understood, was for carry-. 
ing it through with a high hand. They would not be the 
instruments, and tendered their resignation. This was on 
Tuesday, the day before the funeral. He had sagacity enough 
to see that he would add nothing to his popularity in quarrel- 
ling with his Ministers about a personal object, while his father 
still lay unburied. He has therefore desired them to continue 
in office, which implies his yielding his opinion to theirs. 
There can be no doubt, however, that he will take as early an 
opi>ortunity as he decently can to part with them. He will not 
forgive being thwarted on so tender a point. I am told he has 
been irritable and agitated. It is said that when the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury came to ask him if they should pray for 
Queen Caroline he got into a paroxysm of anger which terrified 
Ixis Grace. 

March 30, 1820. 
The enclosed wicked song Tom framed on his way the other 
day from Cambridge. It may amuse you, but it ought not to 
get: out. There are some points in it which the person men- 
tioned would hardly forgive, although the purpose of it is to 
turn the Radicals into ridicule. You will see something of his 

^ On the death of King George the Third. 


in a less questionable style in the next Christian Observer, It 
' is a paraphrase of the noble prophecy of Nahum, and I think 
is executed with considerable spirit. It was written before he 
went to college, but was afterwards mislaid, and I had forgotten 
it till I met with it again lately. He has been employed upon 
a larger effort than either of these in writing again for the 
Chancellor's Medal. The subject is Waterloo. I have seen it, 
and it bids fair for success. The subject has serious dis- 
advantages, but he has produced something upon it which I 
think nearly as good as Fompeii, in some parts indeed better. 

We are congratulating ourselves on the conviction of Burdett 
and Hunt.^ The conduct of the judge, however, on the trial of 
the latter strikes us all with astonishment. He appears almost 
to have been acting under the impression of some strange, un- 
defined influence arising from intimidation. It is scarcely 
possible on any other supposition that a man of Bayley's lights 
could have confounded, for example, the cap of liberty borne by 
the Manchester rabble, the proper emblem of blood and revolu- 
tion, with the Cap of Maintenance borne before the King ; or 
that he should have admitted for a single moment that Hunt's 
interpretation of the motto on his banner, * Equal Representa- 
tion or Death,' could have the slightest foundation in anything 
but the grossest and most barefaced perversion and sophistica- 
tion. The judge strangely submits it to the jury whether it 
may not have meant, as they alleged, that unless they obtained 
an equal representation they would starve. This is really out- 
raging the common sense of the nation in a way that would be 
most ridiculous, if it were not, viewing the matter in its effects, 
most mischievous. 

The Radicals carry things their own way in Westminster and 
Middlesex. The Ministry will still, however, have a sufficient 
majority. And on the whole I am friendly to a strong opposi- 
tion, for I cannot forget that Ministers are men, and need a 

Afay^ 17, 1820- 

I may well be ashamed of my long silence. You will hardly 
believe me when I tell you that it has literally been owing to 
want of time. I have begun a letter to you at least ten times 
in the course of the last fortnight, and have been stopped in the 
very beginning of it by something which could not be post- 
poned. Scarcely a day has passed since the ist of this month 
without a meeting of some kind or other which I was under the 
necessity of showing myself at, and in some cases of assisting 
to prepare reports for. All this made it more difficult to 

* Sir Francis Burdett was tried at Leicester for a seditious libel. Henry Hunt was 
charged with having conspired to call a meeting at Manchester for illegal purposes. 


overtake the ordinary and urgent demand of counting-house 
business, especially as Tom Babington has been absent a part 
of the time in Wales with Lady Barham, where he and his wife 
and children now are. And to add to the pressure, they have 
placed me on the Grand Jury for Middlesex, which requires 
time when I am least able to spare it. 

You will be glad to hear that I prevailed on Lord Gambier 
to omit the stave at the conclusion of the Church Missionary 
Meeting. He did it with evident reluctance, but at the same 
time with a real good-humour and kindness which endeared 
him to me. It really was no small sacrifice for him to make. 
He does not, you know, speak well, but he sings admirably ; 
and no one can appear to more advantage when leading a con- 
cert of two thousand voices in singing 'Eternal are Thy 
mercies, Lord.* The argument which decided him to give it up 
was one drawn from the delicate circumstances of the Bishop 
of Gloucester, and the obligation which lay upon us to do 
nothing which might make him suffer any unnecessary reproach 
from so courageously coming among us. We ought not to 
subject him to have it said that he had been attending a con- 
venticle, or singing psalms in a tavern. The Bishop felt the 
omission to be a great relief, and was thankful for it, but most 
of the Dowager Religionists and all our young Misses were 
sadly disappointed, and had they known the part I had had in 
their disappointment, I should, I fear, have fared ill among them. 
The practice, I trust, has ceased for ever. 

At the Bible Society Meeting Lord Harrowby came into the 
hall unexpectedly. One feeling seemed to pervade the meeting 
on his being recognised. The thought which seemed to strike 
every mind was this, that, but for the special interference of 
Providence, he would have been a murdered corpse.^ The image 
which presented itself irresistibly to my mind was that of Ings 
the butcher plunging the dagger into this Christian statesman's 

Robert Grant made one of his powerful displays. It was 

even sublime in some parts, but it was too ethereal for common 

minds, and it also came too late in the day. Brilliant as he 

was, some brutal persons at the extremity of the room became 

impatient, and he was actually coughed down. It was most 

provoking, but what human enjoyment is without its alloy ? It 

was a mistake to call up one who had so much to say, and 

could say it so well, at half-past four o'clock when the meeting 

was exhausted partly by excitement, and partly by having been 

msLtiy of them shut up in the hall for seven or eight hours. 

1 Xhis refers to the Cato Street conspiracy, which was to have been put into effect 
_ a ministerial dinner at Lord Harrowby*s house. 


Your friend Tom is reading, I hope, hard. He got a Trinity 
scholarship, as did also Henry Thornton, during the last 
month. One of the exercises for the scholarship was to trans- 
late extemporaneously into English verse a Greek anacreontic 
entitled 'Venus crying Cupid whom she has lost' Tom's 
translation of it was as follows : — 

Oyez, Oyez, I 've lost a child, 

Cupid the beautiful the wild, 

He rose from bed at break of day, 

Spread his light wings and skimmed away. 

You '11 know him by his roguish wiles, 

His tears more sweet than others' smiles. 

His little tongue for ever prattling. 

The quiver at his shoulder rattling, 

His rapid step, his laughing face. 

His plumes that wave with fairy grace. 

I grieve that I cannot proclaim, 

In proper form, his father's name. 

In truth, the heaven, the sea, the earth 

Disown the little rebel's birth. 

All groan beneath his cruel sway, 

And all detest whom all obey. 

Look to it. Masters, and beware 

His fatal trap, his hidden snare. 

Perchance while I recount his arts 

He's weaving nets for poaching hearts. 

He's there ! Stop thief! I caught his face 

Glancing from its old hiding-place ; 

See, see, where nestling close he lies 

In the blue heaven of Clara's eyes. 

I had written thus far when I met the Duke of Gloucester, who 
not only begged to address the cover of this letter, but to have 
his kindest regards conveyed to you. 

Mrs. Hannah More, in a letter to her friends M. and Madame 
Huber, had commented with severity upon a passage which 
occurred in the Life of Madame de Stael, by Madame Neckcrdc 
Saussure, which had just appeared : * Le Juge supreme sera 
clement envers le g^nie.' Her strictures led to a long corre- 
spondence with Madame Necker de Saussure, of whom Madame 
de Stael once said, with rare humility : * EHe a tous les talents 
qu'on me suppose, et toutes les vertus qui me manquenL' 


MayZA% '82a 
I enclose a packet from Huber which arrived yesterday, and 
which will, I think, gratify you. Your letter has evidently had 


its effect on Madame Necker already in some degree, and I 
doubt not will work on a mind so evidently ingenuous, until it 
produce still more decided results. She feels she has been 
wrong, and though she is uncomfortable under the feeling, it is 
salutary, and I trust will issue in good. 

London^ June 19, 1820, 
Having a member of Parliament at my elbow, I have deter- 
mined to send you the enclosed note which I received from 
Brougham about a week ago. Notwithstanding Brougham's 
hopes expressed at that time, the negociation^ still remains 
open. He said, however, that the main points are settled, but I 
fear there is too much irritated feeling in the parties more 
immediately concerned to allow of those liberal concessions on 
minor points which would terminate all further discussion, and 
restore the public mind to a state of quiet. There seems to- 
day no expectation of any favourable decision being announced 
to Parliament. The anxiety on this subject is somewhat 
increased by the insubordination which has appeared among 
the Guards. It is said that perfect tranquillity has been 
restored, but it is a truly awkward thing that, in the present 
state of the country, we should not be able implicitly to rely on 
the fidelity of the only species of force which can effectually 
repress disorder. We must, I think, have recourse to our 
yeomanry and volunteers in order to keep the regular troops 
in due order, and to prevent their acquiring such a sense of 
their own value and importance as may endanger the public 

One of the examiners of the poems sent in on the Battle of 
Waterloo told Tom a few days ago that his poem would have 
gained the prize had he dwelt at more length on the details of 
the fight, that here the soldier had decidedly the advantage, and 
was able to expatiate with more freedom and particularity of 
description. He said, however, that they were considering 
whether they should not publish his also. 

I heard Henry Venn (our dear friend Venn's eldest son) 
preach yesterday for the first time. It was a sermon of great 
power and still greater promise. It is delightful to see a fourth 
g-eneration of Venns thus taking their stand on the Lord's side. 
The second son goes out to India in a few weeks with higher 
honours on his head, both literary and moral, than any young 
man has yet carried away from the East India College. 

July 12, 1820, 
I presume you are as full of the Queen at Barley Wood as 

> With the Queen. 


we are at London. She has caused a very unfeminine bustle 
here, and attracted great crowds. I, however, went not near the 
scene, nor sought one look of her royal person, which I under- 
stand has been sufficiently exposed to the gaze of the passing 
mob ; neither would I permit one of my house to go there 
though within a mile of us, and my young folks felt a curiosity 
to see a queen. Wilberforce^ has raised himself by his inter- 
ference. He has probably saved us from a shocking inundation 
of impurity and licentiousness in the shape of examinations, 
and also from much popular effervescence. Brougham is, 1 
believe, really solicitous to conclude this affair without noise. 

Your donation to our infant asylum I gave to Brougham, 
who is our treasurer, and who felt personally gratified by the 

Madame Necker evidently does not understand you or your 
principles. If it is true, however, as the Rubers observe, that 
she is eagerly endeavouring to acquire religious light under 
some apprehension of her own blindness, she will doubtless be 
led to it by a way she now knows not. Even the little friendly 
discussion which has indirectly taken place between you may 
lead to this end, by leading her to consider the whole subject 
more accurately, and to read your writings more attentively. 

Macaulay frequently went over to France on business con- 
nected with the Slave Trade, and his brother. General Macaulay, 
was in the habit of residing for part of each year in Paris, where 
he mixed freely in the best French society. Both brothers had 
formed acquaintance which gradually ripened into intimate 
friendship with a few persons of distinction in the political and 
literary circles of the French capital, and particularly with the 
son of the celebrated Madame de Stael, Baron Auguste dc 
Stael, who had attained an unusual mastery over the English 
language. Sir Walter Scott remarked his proficiency with 
astonishment, and said Baron de Stael was the only foreigner he 
had ever known who could speak English like an Englishman.- 

His sister Albertine, the only daughter of Madame de Stael, 
who was married to Victor, Duke de Broglie, the French states- 
man, became a close and lifelong friend of both the brothers ; 
and in conjunction with her husband and Baron de Stael she 
assisted them materially in their labours against the Foreign 

1 See Life of William Wilberforce^ vol. v. 

' Sismondi praises him highly, and says : * Auguste de Stael a de la sagessc ^^x'^ 
les pens^es, de la grdce et de la puret^ dans le sty\t.^—LettresiU Sismondi a Madame 


Slave Trade, while Macaulay on his side endeavoured to the 
best of his ability to help them to promote benevolent and 
philanthropical schemes in France, and enlisted for the further- 
ance of these objects much of the machinery of the Religious 
Societies upon the other side of the Channel. 

The Duchess de Broglie and Auguste de Stael had both been 
educated in the tenets of the Reformed Church of Geneva, and 
had passed their youth chiefly at Coppet. They united grave 
and serious views of life and a strong sense of duty with 
polished manners and a sweetness and benevolence of disposi- 
tion which fascinated those who enjoyed the privilege of their 
friendship. The strong bent of their minds to religion, which 
they steadily practised in the midst of the temptations of the 
most brilliant society in the civilised world of that period, and 
the interest of which they consistently made the first aim of 
their lives, formed immediately a link of sympathy between 
them, and the grave hard-working stranger who had come 
among them. From the Duke de Broglie he always received 
the most cordial support and sympathy in his labours, and the 
Duke constantly wrote to Macaulay to keep him informed of 
the progress of the struggle which he was carrying on in the 
French Senate for the abolition of the Traite des Nfegres. 

The attention which Macaulay during his visits to France 
paid to the celebrated Abb^ Gr^goire, formerly constitutional 
Bishop of Blois, who was living in his old age in great poverty 
and isolation at Auteuil, occupying his time in literary work, 
excited considerable disfavour among his Parisian friends. 
Gr^goire's recent election to the Chamber of Deputies had been 
annulled by a Royalist majority, and he had been pronounced 
unworthy of sitting there upon the ground of complicity in 
the condemnation of Louis xvi. This accusation he always 
strenuously denied as far as regarded the infliction of the 
penalty of death, and it should be added that he had run a 
good deal of risk during the Reign of Terror by exerting him- 
self to liberate the refractory priests, and by supplying them 
ivith the means of subsistence, and that he was actually 
denounced at the Jacobin Club as desirous of Christianising the 
Revolution. But the supreme merit of Gr^goire in the eyes 
of the Abolitionists was that, in 1794, he had proposed and 
ca^rried in the National Convention the total Abolition of 


Slavery. It will be remembered that in the same year 
Macaulay and the infant Colony of Sierra Leone had suffered 
almost total destruction at the hands of these friends of liberty. 
Another Frenchman with whom he made acquaintance about 
this time was M. Louis Dumont, who must not be confounded 
with M. Dumont, of Geneva, the friend of Bentham. M. Louis 
Dumont, a permanent official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 
was a man of a modest and retiring disposition, but possessed 
of considerable attainments, and his zeal and intelligence proved 
of great assistance in the agitation against the French Slave 
Trade. The similarity which was before long apparent in their 
tastes and views brought him into very close relations with 
Macaulay ; and soon after their first introduction to each other 
they began a correspondence, which lasted, with some intervals, 
until Macaulay's death, and which was evidently a source of 
great pleasure to them both. M. Dumont, in an exquisitely 
clear handwriting, but one so minutely formed that it is the 
despair of the decipherer, bestowed upon his correspondent long 
disquisitions about the state of political parties in France, united 
with gloomy anticipations as to the course of events. The chief 
object of his terror were the prol^taires, who, as he explains, 
* sont' ceux qui n'ont pour subsister que les ressources de leur 
travail. Ce mot est nouvellement francis6.' Macaulay was in 
no way wanting on his part, and kept his friend thoroughly 
informed about public affairs in his country. 


Calais^ September ii, 182a 
The inns at Dover were very full and uncomfortable. It is a 
shocking place for smells, arising from the mud and stagnant 
water on every side. We made a most pleasant passage from 
Dover to Calais in about three hours and a half. On getting to 
Calais I went to Dessin's Hotel, which is to the full as well 
arranged and as clean as the very first inns in England. 

On going to the passport office I was obliged to wait while a 
sharp-looking fellow, eyeing me with a keen sort of glance from 
head to foot, described my person. His description of me is as 
follows: 'Age de 52 ans, taille d'un metre 70 centimetres. 
Cheveux bruns, front haut, sourcils bruns, yeux gris bruns, ncz 
moyen, bouche moyenne, barbe brune, menton rond, visage 
ovale, teint ordinaire.' I really do not believe that if you had 


been put to it, though you have known me for twenty-four 
years, you could have given so accurate a description of me as 
this Commis du Bureau des Passeports did in a few minutes. 

You would be astonished to find how universal is the' con- 
viction among the English I have met here, and at Dover 
on their return from the Continent, that the Queen will be 
acquitted ; how strong also is their expectation that if she is 
not, there will be a convulsion in England. They are wrong, 
I think, in both points. Such, however, is the case. All I 
have met with seem astonished that I should dissent from the 
above opinion. 


Par 15^ September 26, 1820. 
I first went to Dumont, but he had gone out. I next called 
on Gr^goire, whom I found at home, and with whom I had a 
long and very interesting conversation. He took me in his 
arms and kissed me on both cheeks on my announcing my 
name. We have made arrangements for meeting the Aboli- 
tionists, and for exciting a stronger effort in this country for 
enforcing the laws against the Slave Trade. There is a generous 
warmth about the old man which is delightful. At ten o'clock 
to-day I am to receive some persons on this subject at my apart- 
ments, and to-morrow morning I am to meet Gr^goire again. 

PariSy September 27, 1820. 
Dumont and I dined together yesterday at Very's, and spent 
the evening in talking over a variety of subjects, chiefly con- 
nected with the Slave Trade. I was occupied a great part of 
the morning in receiving visits, some of them interesting — one 
from M. Morenas, a gentleman from Senegal ; another from 
M. Monod, a Lutheran pastor of Paris ; a third from M. George, 
a. coloured man of intelligence from Hayti. To-day, as soon as 
I have had my breakfast, I go to Gr^goire to consult him and 
some friends, and I have afterwards an appointment to go to 
the great School d'Enseignement Mutuel. 

I yesterday had a peep at the Duchess de Berry as she was 
going to take a walk in a garden attached to the Tuileries. 
She was in deepest weeds, and seemed hurried and agitated. 
She is a little woman, and was attended by about twenty men, 
all of them full six feet high, besides which she had a guard 
lining the way from the palace gate to the garden to keep off 
the mob. By the way there was no great assemblage, and 
those who were present were perfectly silent; not a single 
riote of any kind was sounded. 


You cannot think what a variety of temptations have been 
put in my way of laces, and gloves, and caps and bonnets of the 
most beautiful form, for Madame ma femme and Mesdemoiselles 
mes filles. But I have been obliged to resist them all, and I 
know not that I shall be able to bring a single thing to prove 
my own taste and to gratify theirs. Mats nous verrons. 

Paris, October i, 182a 
I passed a very pleasant afternoon with M. Cuvier. His wife 
and daughter were pleasing and intelligent, and several savans 
were collected there, among others, my friend M. Humboldt, 
the great traveller. What has chiefly occupied me for some 
days past has been the affair of the French Slave Trade, about 
which I have been endeavouring, and not, I hope, without 
success, to excite some interest. M. Humboldt is a warm 
and intelligent friend, and he knows all who are of the same 
disposition in this place. He is very urgent with me to try 
the effect of a letter to the Duke de Richelieu stating facts 
and requesting an interview ; but I greatly doubt the expedi- 
ency of this course, and my doubts are greatly aided by my 
desire to be at home. 

It is very curious to remark what a complete line of separa- 
tion in air, manner and appearance there is between the 
English and the French, particularly the ladies, and yet I 
like Paris and the French altogether much less than I did. 
They are at the same time a very extraordinary people, and 
not the less extraordinary when one views the variety of their 
admirable institutions both of utility and benevolence, and 
yet contemplates them as almost without God in the world. 
Religion, however, is much more thought of and spoken of than 
it was when I was last here. There is, among the Protestants 
especially, an excitement of a very hopeful kind. Their collision 
with us has been useful. But they are very cold and timid 
still, and can only be considered as active when compared with 
their former absolute torpor. As for the Catholics, there is a 
great revival among them of the worst parts of their supersti- 
tion, and which stands in offensive contrast to the open and 
avowed infidelity of the mass. There are here Societies actually 
formed for giving to the public cheap editions of the works of 
Voltaire against Christianity, just as with us there are Societies 
for distributing Bibles and religious tracts at low prices. It ys 
a painful state of things. 

The poor Duchess de Berry must have nerves of superhuman 
strength. Ten thousand men of all arms were collected to-day- 
under the windows of her apartment, and the noise of trumpets 
and kettledrums and fifes and hautboys was enough to distract 


a person in sound health. Poor thing ! What she must have 
suffered on the night- of her accouchement. Matters advanced 
so rapidly to their completion that it was likely to be all over 
before any witnesses could reach the scene of action. She was 
in terror lest, if a boy, it would be represented as a supposititious 
child. She cried out in an agony to throw open the door, and 
call the soldiers in who were on guard. This was done, and a 
number of them came in just in time. The appointed witnesses 
came nearly about the same time. And there are some who 
even now do not scruple to question its being really the son of 
the Duchess de Berry, but a changeling. I heard very fervent 
prayers put up for her to-day in the Protestant Temples. 


London^ October 17, 1820. 
To return for one moment to the old subject, the Queen. In 
France they laugh at us very heartily ! They have no doubt 
of the guilt — but oh the folly — the more than childish folly of 
convulsing the kingdom and risking a revolution for the sake 
of what may have been done or may not have been done dans 
ce genre^ by a cast-off wife of upwards of fifty. They believe, 
one and all, that the Radicals will prove too many for King 
and Parliament. And it must be admitted that never on any 
occasion was there such blundering, such gross and fatal mis- 
management, as on the part of our Government. Their best 
friends admit it. And the worst of it is that there is no move 
of retreat which does not raise most serious apprehensions in 
the mind of every reflecting man. 

Macaulay had taken a house at Brighton, the air of which 
place his wife thought advantageous for her children, and for 
several months of every year she was now in the habit of re- 
siding there with them, while her husband remained at Cadogan 
Place, and only contrived to pay his family occasional visits of 
a few days at such times as his numberless engagements per- 
mitted of absence from London. > 

The year 1820 was one of continual agitation and anxiety 
in the political world, and the prosecutions against irreligious 
publications which were instituted by the Society for the 
Suppression of Vice, on the Committee of which Macaulay 
w^as an active member, gave rise to great excitement. In the 
following letter allusion is made to the trial of Richard Carlile 
for editing and circulating publications which the Society charac- 


terised as blasphemous and seditious ; and against Davidson, a 
printer in Smithfield, for printing the Deist's Magazine. 


Barley Wood^ October ^Z^ 182a 
I am sick at heart at the state of the country and the prospect 
before us. It has pleased God to make this pernicious woman 
the rod of his wrath to punish our sins. Radicalism is 
triumphant. Even in this obscure corner we are deeply in- 
fected. Mr. Wylde, at his Tithe dinner the other day, could 
prevail on only five men out of fifty to drink the King's health. 
At a Court Leet held at Wrington a day or two ago, the Cryer 
of the Court positively refused to utter the usual dismission, 
* God save the King,' before the magistrates, etc. I 

I am glad, however, that we have still some honest juries; 
witness Mr. Carlile and Mr. Deist, I forget his other name. 
Are we to consider the trial as really over? 


London^ November 4, 182a 
The argument on my affair came on again in Chancery yes- 
terday morning, and the pleadings closed about two. The 
Vice- Chancellor, before whom the cause was tried, has given a 
very clear indication that his decision will be entirely in our 
favour ; but he said he thought it right to look at the cases that 
had been cited by counsel before he pronounced his judgment. 
There seems no doubt on the part either of our counsel or of 
the adverse counsel that it will be in our favour. You are 
aware that this is not a trial of the merits of the case between 
me and Thorpe ; ^ but an attempt of his, for the mere purpose 
of delay, to induce the Court of Chancery to interfere to prevent, 
the trial from being brought in the Court of King's Bench until 
I had previously answered his interrogatories respecting the 
whole course of my life from infancy to age, and had produced 
all my books, papers and correspondence for the last thirty 
years. After the proceedings were over I went to Clapham. 

I left again at half-past eight to return home, but before I 
got through Lark Hall lane, so thick a fog came on that Sncxitli 
could not see his way. Instead of turning to Vauxhall he got 
across Stockwell Common, and we found ourselves on the Toot* 
path at Mr. Shewell's great house. By the help of a watch.naaui 
we got into the Vauxhall Road again, but before we go^ ^o 

* Some information about Thorpe will be found at page 287. 


the * Wheat Sheaf at South Lambeth, Smith had again got on 
the footpath, and over it into a ditch about three feet deep, 
where horses, carriage, and all were immovably fixed. I am 
glad you were not there. I got out, and collected eight or ten 
men, who with some difficulty extricated the horses, and then 
the carriage, neither of which received any injury. I then got 
a man with torches to go before us the whole way over Vaux- 
hall Bridge, along the Vauxhall Road, up Grosvenor Place, 
and then along Knightsbridge, and down Sloane Street home. 
Smith lost himself once or twice notwithstanding the torch, but 
my own accurate knowledge of every stick and stone of the 
way enabled me, by getting out, to set him right again. I got 
safely seated in my room by a capital fire about eleven o'clock, 
or a little later, and with a glass of warm wine and water dissi- 
pated any feeling of discomfort from my tedious expedition. 

I have been so busy with my friend Thorpe, and in preparing 
for developing, as I must do in French, to the Duke Decazes,^ 
the abominations of the French Slave Trade — added to which 
Tom Babington is again laid up — that I have had little leisure 
time since you went. 

November Ty 1820. 
I found the Duke Decazes a remarkably pleasant, simple, 
intelligent, kind-hearted man, professedly a warm friend to the 
Abolition, and disposed to exert himself with all his influence 
to promote it He listened to me with great attention, and 
expressed his horror at much that I told him. He had with 
him an astute, cold-blooded Frenchman of the name of Siguier, 
who, while he professed to be an Abolitionist, was a thorough 
Slave-trader in principle, and tried adroitly to weaken the force 
of many of my statements. For example. * Ay, that is very 
bad indeed, almost as bad as men selling their wives in Smith- 
field,' or as 'flogging the soldiers,' etc. However, in spite of 
the chilling influence of M. Siguier's affected philanthropy, but 
real misanthropy, his Excellency seemed deeply impressed, and 
has promised to do all he can. There were there besides the 
Duke and Duchess (a thorough Frenchwoman of nineteen), her 
brother and sister, the Prince and Princess Esterhazy, another 
prince of the same name, the Secretary of the Austrian Legation, 
and two or three others. The entertainment was splendid. It 
lasted about two hours. When over, ladies and gentlemen rose 
all t(^ether, and went into the drawing-room, where we had 
coflfee. Afterwards the parties set themselves to act a number 
of ridiculous pantomimes. To give you examples. One was the 
play of Cinderella ; the three ladies were the three sisters, etc. 

* The Duke Decazes had recently been appointed French Ambassador to England. 


Another was teaching reading by example. A tall young man 
marched into the room as stiff and straight as a poker, and 
another marched behind him holding his clenched fist over the 
crown of his head. This was to represent Le Point (poing) 
sur PL This silly play continued some time. 

I go to Inglis's to-morrow, and on Friday I dine at Vansittart's. 
So you see what a life of dissipation I lead. 

The Queen went down to the House to-day to protest against 
the Bill. She had hardly a dozen ragged boys following her. 
As she returned I met her, and she had a more numerous 
cortege, but still by no means numerous nor very noisy. I am 
exceedingly puzzled as to what is the best course : the majority 
is fearfully small. 

November 16, 182a 

Sir R. Inglis was here yesterday, kind as usual. He has 
had all the windows of his house smashed. A stone fell on 
Miss Patty Smith's bed. He has applied to the Hundred to 
repair them. The thing was done without any previous warn- 
ing, and evidently to serve the glaziers. 

What a surprising revolution in the state of men's minds 
appears to be produced by a few months 1 I greatly question 
the continuance of this calm. But let us be thankful for it 
while it lasts. Would that our Legislature would improve it 
to the purpose of reviewing our moral state, and considering 
what can be done to mend it. Lord King, I hear, is about to 
bring Marsh's^ eighty-seven questions before the House of Lords. 
I sent him, or rather made Hatchard send him, the Christian 
Observer's comment upon them. 


London^ November 25, 1820- 
I am glad Margaret has acquitted herself so well both intel- 
lectually and morally. I assure you I never thought her at all 
wanting in understanding, only her prominent quality is tender 
affection. Well, whatever credit they may have for improve- 
ment either morally or intellectually must be given to you, and 
I have much more pleasure in your having it than if I had it 
myself. I have always been disposed to prefer private educa- 
tion for girls. Among the advantages, they enjoy a greater 
range of intellectual conversation and of varied reading. A 
library such as ours is of itself an immense advantage, an 

^ Dr. Marsh, when appointed Bishop of Peterborough, propounded to all cruratcs 
who applied to him for a licence the notorious eighty -seven questions, popularly knom-n 
as *a trap to catch Calvinists.* He took this course with the object of keeping his 
diocese clear of Evangelical clergy. 


advantage perhaps which scarcely admits of calculation. Then 
consider the exercise which their faculties enjoy from merely 
listening to what passes around them in a family like ours, 
with the succession of well-informed and intelligent persons 
that is to be seen there. And undoubtedly it is no small 
benefit to be at home during Tom's holidays, which un- 
doubtedly they might not be if at school. He certainly is of 
very great use to the very youngest of them. The very 
interest their affection leads them to take in his pursuits, and in 
mine also, is elevating to young minds expanding into life and 
action. I value, however, still more the course of regular and 
consistent discipline, applying chiefly to the state and temper 
of the mind, which it is in the power of parents to pursue ; the 
affectionate but decisive check imposed upon bad dispositions ; 
the vigilance exercised as to all indications of bad humour 
shown by pouting, harsh tones, and quick and unkind replies. 


London^ December ^ 1820. 
My wife has told you of her safe arrival with her tribe of 
girls, who all returned with their mouths and their hearts too, 
I verily believe, full of Mrs. H. More. Hannah entertained us 
for a long evening with all the displays of impromptu wit to 
which she had listened at Barley Wood, and has frequently 
broken in upon our dulness since with recollected flashes 
which had been omitted in the first recital. 

I am afraid you will think we have become radical in the 
Christian Observer, 

I assure you that my great objection to Ministers is that 
they seem to be betraying the country into the hands of the 
Radicals, instead of carrying out a more vigorous line of policy 
on their parts, and above all, an endeavour to infuse into the 
Bench of Bishops, and into the various Chapters, and among 
the Clergy, as far as their patronage goes, a spirit more con- 
genial to their office, and more adapted to these times of 
rebuke and blasphemy. However, this last is a separate ques- 
tion from their late conduct in respect to the Queen, which I 
quite agree with. 

Mortlock carried the two New Zealand Chiefs to see the 
King. The King was very kind and attentive, showed them 
his palace, gave them an immense cocked hat apiece and a 
helnnet. He asked one of them, Shunghee, how many wives 
he had. * I got five,' said the Chief. * Five ! Ah, it is far too 
niany. How do you manage them? We find one in this 
country more than enoug^.' * When they make noise,' replied 


Shunghee, with a very arch look, *I flog 'em/ The King 
laughed heartily, and said it was a very good plan for quieting 
a riotous wife. 

The Royal Literary Society, I see, is to-day advertised. I 
have no high opinion of it, but one cannot refuse to join such 
men as Vansittart, J. C. Villiers, and the Bishop of St David's, 
who are the chief movers, even when the project is not very 

London^ June ii, 1821. 

You will be glad, I know, to hear from me before it reaches 
you from any other quarter, that Tom has again gained the 
medal for the Chancellor's English prize poem. The subject is 
Evening. The candidates were thirty-two in number. Some 
of the poems, Brown says, were very good, but he adds that 
the Examiners were unanimous in assigning the prize to Tom. 
He came home only four or five days ago, and you may con- 
ceive the ecstasy of his little sisters when they learnt the news. 
They were quite wild with joy. The writing-master, who was 
with them at the time, thought they were all mad. I am glad 
to see Tom retain all his exquisite relish for the domestic 
circle. He seems to seek no other pleasures as a relaxation 
from graver pursuits than are to be found there. 

This occurrence of the medal somewhat deranges our plans. 
Tom is to spend the summer and autumn in Wales under a 
tutor, in, I hope, hard study, and my plan is to accompany him 
thither and leave him there. After having passed two days 
with you, we purpose making our tour from you to Llanrwst, 
where Tom is to be deposited, as interesting as possible by 
choosing the best line of scenery, about which we must take 
counsel of you when we see you. I am arranging to take John 
with me, both for his improven\ent intellectually, and for the 
confirmation of his health. 

I have had all my leisure engaged with my work on the 
Slave Trade, an abstract raisonni of the Parliamentary papers 
lately laid on the table of the House. 

For some years past, Mr. Wilberforce and Macaulay had 
been assiduously endeavouring to direct and aid to the best of 
their ability the efforts of Henri Christophe, the black Emperox* 
of Hayti, for the improvement and civilisation of his subjects. 

To them Christophe looked with confidence for advice and 
instruction, and they not only engaged in a laborious com^-> 
spondence with him and his Ministers, and suggested and oigan^ 
ised numberless schemes to accomplish the laudable purpo^^ 


in view, but they actually undertook the arduous task of select- 
ing and sending out to him the multitude of persons of various 
descriptions who were required to form the minds and habits 
of the younger generation in Hayti. Professors for the Royal 
College, amongst whose number were classical, medical and 
mathematical professors, schoolmasters, divines, surgeons, phy- 
sicians, a tutor for Christophe's sons, governesses for his 
daughters, were some of the individuals whom tho two friends 
despatched to Hayti. It might reasonably be expected that 
persons so qualified would understand the positions which they 
were accepting and the risks which they were taking, but it 
was otherwise with uneducated people ; and to labourers, such 
as the ploughmen who went out in 18 19, *four raw creatures * 
as Mr. Wilberforce terms them, the conditions under which 
they found themselves, when Christophe's death occurred a 
year later, must have been very alarming. 

The responsibility which they had thus undertaken weighed 
heavily upon the minds of both friends. In 18 17 Wilberforce 
writes to Macaulay : * It has occurred to me on reflection that 
we have not been duly mindful of the importance of improving 
the female character in Hayti. Do be turning your mind to 
the best modes of improving Hayti.' 

But unhappily all these hopes were frustrated by the unex- 
pected death of Christophe, who committed suicide in a fit of 
desperation upon receiving the news that his troops had re- 
volted against him. Macaulay always retained a great admira- 
tion for his character and abilities, and believed firmly many 
of the accusations against him to have been calumnious reports 
emanating from slave-owners and from his French enemies. 
Macaulay insisted on the fact that Christophe had shown him- 
self an inflexible patriot, superior to all the advantages oflered 
him as bribes, first by Napoleon, and afterwards by Malouet, 
Minister of the Colonies under Louis XVIII. * In short,' he 
writes, 'when we consider his whole history, raised from a 
slave to the command of armies and absolute power, and call to 
mind his military achievements, and the propriety and dignity 
v^ith' which he exercised the functions of government, we may 
rank him among the eminent men who have brightened the 
page of history in different ages of the world.' 

Christophe's family had to fly for safety, and as was natural 


under the circumstances, his widow and two daughters sought 
a refuge in England with the friends who had done so much for 
his assistance. The poor women arrived under the protection 
of a young officer who had facilitated their escape, and Mr. 
Wilberforce was able to place them comparatively at ease 
financially by paying over to them at once the balance of a 
large sum of money with which Christophe had commissioned 
him to procure more schoolmasters. Macaulay's daughters 
remembered Madame Christophe as a handsome woman, with 
remarkably dignified and quiet manners. 


London, September 20, 182 1. 

I saw the ex-Queen of Hayti yesterday and her two daugh- 
ters. She and they are in deep mourning, which, with their 
coal-black countenances, give them a somewhat sombre aspect 
The mother is, I should think, about fifty-five years of age, 
pleasing and modest. The daughters are, I should think, 
twenty-four and eighteen, pretty good-looking ; but you need 
be under no apprehensions respecting Madame Christophe. 
She is not likely to come near us. But if she had, you might 
have rested perfectly easy on the score of morals. I have no 
doubt whatever that the young women are perfectly modest and 
virtuous. Neither mother nor daughters will be dependent on 
any one except for counsel and kindness in this land of strangers. 
They will be amply provided for from their own resources. 

Sir Charles Macarthy ^ gave me a commission to find a wife 
for him ; a lady of good sense and good nature, and who is 
capable, and will be assiduous in superintending all plans of 
female education and civilisation at Sierra Leone. The g^irls 
are amused with this commission. They have been proposing 
Miss Tibbs.* I think she would hardly hit the taste of the 
Chevalier. But do you think of any one — I am quite in earnest 
— who would not only be fit but able well to fill the throne at 
Sierra Leone ? Patty Linton is a little too old, and not verj" 
likely to promote education much. But there is Miss. FrowcL* 
What a capital sphere would open to her as Lady Macarthy ! 

^ Governor of the Gold Coast. He was killed in fighting against the Ashantecs in 
January 1824, and his head was carried ofif as a war trophy. 

' Their governess, who superintended the education of more than one generation 
of Babingtons and Macaulays, and was considered in those families as an oki aLsd 
valued friend. 

' Mrs. H. More*s devoted companion. 


It IS very hard that England will not afford the man a wife ; I 
will venture to say in Scotland I could get him his choice of a 
dozen in a week. The girls have also been recommending the 
Rose of Neasden. Well, do think for the poor man. 

I have had a very urgent invitation from Stephen to go down 
to him at Missenden, which he paints with all the ardour of his 
glowing pen, as comprising every rural beauty which a poet's 
fancy can imagine. But I must take care of my girls at 
present, and be at home with them in the evenings, and I am 
not sorry to have so good an excuse for staying at home, 
for I assure you going from home has no charm for me, how- 
ever I may be compelled to it, when your presence deprives me 
of an equally valid excuse with that which I can now prefer. 

Tell Mrs. H. More that we a